This article was updated on June 1st, 2021.
Pollinators have registered a considerable decline in the last 30+ years in the U.S. and worldwide, mainly because of pests and diseases, exposure to pesticides and other chemicals, loss of habitat, loss of species and genetic diversity, and climate change. A 2016 survey from the Bee Informed Partnership found that Beekeepers across the country lost 44% of their honey bee colonies during 2015 – 2016.
In recognition of the severity of the problem and the fact that honey bees and other pollinators are key to our agriculture, President Barack Obama created in 2014 the Pollinator Task Force to make a national strategy to protect and promote the health of pollinators. In 2019, under the President Trump administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture suspended data collection for its annual Honey Bee Colonies report, citing cost cuts.
With more than 90 species of U.S. specialty crops requiring pollination and a population projected to cross the 400-million mark in 2058, according to the U.S. Census, there’s much that still needs to be done to protect pollinators and safeguard the nation’s agriculture at the same time.
If you wish to take a stand and get involved in the cause, think no more! Here are 6 tips to observe National Pollinator Month. Choose one or all options and celebrate the over 4,000 species of native bees in the U.S. that keep the country alive and green.
- Encourage your governor and other officials to take steps to protect pollinators.
- Support farmers and beekeepers by buying local products
- Depending on the COVID-19 guidance in your state, host a pollinator planting day near your home, and plant the right plants.
- Build native bee houses
- Share your garden story in My Pollinators – My Story!
- Spread the word among family, friends, and everyone willing to learn about the importance of pollinators.