Pollinators – birds, bats, butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, wasps, small mammals, and most importantly, honey bees – provide pollination to over 180,000 different plant species and more than 1,200 crops. That means that one out of every three bites of food you eat is on your fork because of pollinators, which visit flowers to drink nectar or feed off pollen and transport pollen grains as they move from spot to spot.
This week is National Pollinator Awareness Week. Clark, your friendly termite, grounds care, and pest management expert, would like to put the spotlight on the importance of promoting good pollinator health.
There are numerous factors threatening honey bees and other pollinators, but one of the primary threats is the lack of available nectar and pollen sources. Years of urban sprawl have eliminated many of the natural habitats of foraging pollinators, along with their nutrition sources.
Pollinators and the environment
Why are honey bees and other pollinators so important to our environment? Consider the following:
- - Pollination by honey bees and other insects produces nearly $20 billion of products annually in the United States.
- - Foods produced with the help of pollinators are found on our dinner table daily, including apples, strawberries, blueberries, chocolate, melons, peaches, figs, tomatoes, pumpkins, and almonds (you’ll notice that many of those crops are grown in abundance here in California).
- - Approximately 1,000 plants grown for food, beverages, fibers, spices, and medicines need to be pollinated to produce the necessary resources.
Promoting pollinator health
What can you do to promote pollinator health in your community? For one, you can buy local honey and support community beekeepers. Also, you can plant flowers attractive to pollinators.
By planting flowers, you can play a role in protecting the pollinators and help to support our nation’s food supply. Not only will bees and other pollinators benefit from this simple act of goodwill, but the colorful vegetation will also make your home, yard, or patio more attractive and enjoyable.
Community and private gardens that contain flowers and plants attractive to pollinators can be extremely beneficial in providing new food sources. Clark recommends planting flowering plants, herbs, and vegetables, including wildflowers, lavender, sunflowers, goldenrod, honeysuckle, chives, oregano, and thyme.
Clark would like to issue a word of caution before you start planting your garden, however. Your garden should be a welcoming oasis for bees that are being raised by professional or hobby beekeepers, as these individuals understand how to work safely with bees. It’s a good idea to plant your gardens away from your house and outdoor seating areas.
Stinging insects that aren’t so friendly
Did you know more than a half-million people go to the emergency room due to allergic reactions after being stung? This is why understanding the differences between beneficial stinging insects and those that present a health threat is so important.
If you do find a nest or hive in or around your home, call a licensed pest management professional to help identify the type of insect present. Do not attempt to remove it yourself. Once proper identification is made, the pest professional can safely remove the nest and threat if needed.
Clark Pest Control is committed to safeguarding your home from pests during these challenging times. Our service technicians use such personal protective equipment as gloves, masks, and respirators, they practice social distancing, they call ahead to notify before a service, and they adhere strictly to all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines when servicing inside or outside your home.
If you have questions on pollinator health or stinging insects, call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are ready to help solve your pest issues.
Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keep unwanted pests out of your home.