National Pollinator Week officially kicks off today, and we couldn't be more excited to spend an entire week celebrating all pollinators for the great work that they do to keep our world beautiful and our meals delicious!
Pollinator Week's history began a mere ten years ago when the U.S. Senate designated that a week in June be dubbed “National Pollinator Week,” bringing about greater awareness of the plight of our declining pollinators. Along with the humble honey bee, Pollinator Week celebrates the invaluable work of other important pollinators like butterflies, birds, bats, and beetles. In the years since its inception, National Pollinator Week has grown into an international celebration that brings together communities on behalf of our smallest and hardest working creatures.
The vital work of pollination is the fertilization of a flowering plant. Pollination occurs when pollen is transferred from the anthers of a flower to the ovules of that or another flower. Pollinators visit millions of blossoms in their lifetimes and pollinate a wide range of crops. Without the honeybees' pollination work, the quantity and quality of many crops would be reduced and some would not yield at all. We can thank pollinators for most of our favorite fruits, vegetables, and legumes, such as apple, cherries, cucumbers, sunflowers, and almonds.
To honor our favorite pollinators, we’ve come up with a few fun things to do with the family:
Get into a pollinator’s habitat (a.k.a. – nature)! Whether it’s a visit to your local beekeeper or getting out into the garden, immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. We’ve got some easy and fun garden and craft ideas for the whole family here.
Get your trivia on! Did you know that honey bees came to America by way of the Pilgrims in the 1600s? And by the 1850s had made it all the way to California! Test your friends and yourself with our honey bee fun facts that can be found here.
Go on a picnic! Not only do you get to enjoy the beautiful nature that pollinators provide us, but you can also enjoy the fruits (or veggies or nuts) of their labor. Check out some of our favorite honey bee-inspired picnic recipes here.
Attend a National Pollinator Week event in your area! Check out our friends at the Pollinator Partnership to learn more about Pollinator Week and find an event in your area.
Looking to do more? Here are our top four ways to help honey bees and other pollinators:
However, you choose to celebrate, we hope you make National Pollinator Week a sweet one!