Pollinators
U S Fish and Wildlife Service

 


USFWS Alaska pollinators home page

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USFWS Mountain - Prairie Region Plants and Pollinators of the Arid West Facebook page


image: Students planting a pollinator gardenSee the pollinator garden at Mt. Eagle Elementary School, VA.


cover image: Hawaiian Island Ecological Region Guide FINAL - hi-res

New NAPPC Guide for Selecting Plants for Pollinators in Hawaii. 12.5 MB


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Busy Bees: Pacific and Southwest Regions Rise to the National Pollinator Challenge from Fish & Wildlife NewsWinter/Spring 2012


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Netresults Crowds Descend to HelpTag Monarch Butterflies from Fish & Wildlife NewsWinter/Spring 2012


 

 

GOT A QUESTION?
USFWS Customer Service Center
1-800-344-WILD

 

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Celebrate National Pollinator Week, June 16 - 22, 2014!

Join the Conversation about Native Bees
"The Wonder of Discovery: Pollinators All Around", 2013 Pollinator Poster.
Credit: Carolyn Vibbert.

Key to pollinators featured on the poster

Key to plants featured on the poster

Key to activities featured on the poster

Black and white version of the poster for coloring

Learn more about some of the species on the poster:

Lesser long-nosed bat
Rufous hummingbird
Monarch butterflies | Monarch butterflies Podcast
Native Bees Podcast

 


These hard-working animals help pollinate over 75% of our flowering plants, and nearly 75% of our crops. Often we may not notice the hummingbirds, bats, bees, beetles, butterflies, and flies that carry pollen from one plant to another as they collect nectar. Yet without them, wildlife would have fewer nutritious berries and seeds, and we would miss many fruits, vegetables, and nuts, like blueberries, squash, and almonds . . . not to mention chocolate and coffee…all of which depend on pollinators.

Learn more about pollinators by viewing fun and educational materials on pollinators, including:

  • An online clubhouse (Neighborhood Explorers) - learn about Lucy's pizza garden, then make your own pizza from pollinated foods.

  • Activity guide
    (Go! Wild) - learn about pollinators at Rocky Mountain National Wildlife Refuge, then match plants to pollinators and enjoy other games. Can you guess which animals pollinate plants in your yard?

  • Podcasts - listen to broadcasts about native bees, endangered pollinators, pollinator gardens and backyard habitat, and a view a video clip from Green Springs Garden. Are you providing good habitat for pollinators in your yard?

  • Webcasts ( Pollinator Live and Monarch Live) - take a trip on these websites to "see" monarch habitat across North America and learn about the great migration of monarchs, or learn how bees and other pollinators benefit people and how to attract them to your schoolyard.

  • A monarch butterfly website - learn how to tell a monarch butterfly from a viceroy butterfly, how monarchs get out of their chrysalis, why they gather on trees overwinter, and lots of other fun facts. Are monarchs found in your area? When?

  • The Nature's Partner's Curriculum - fun activities for clubs, schools, and families to learn about pollinators. Children may need some help from adults with many of these activities.

Download a variety of resources about pollinators, pollinator week, and what you can do to help pollinators at: http://www.pollinator.org

Note: The celebration of Pollinator Week started in 2007, when the U.S. Senate designated Pollinator Week in Resolution 580.

How You Can Help

Pollinators need your help! There is increasing evidence that many pollinators are in decline.  However, there are some simple things you can do at home to encourage pollinator diversity and abundance.

1) Plant a Pollinator Garden

2) Build a Bee Block

3) Avoid or Limit Pesticide Use

WHY POLLINATORS ARE IMPORTANT

Pollinators, such as most bees and some birds, bats, and other insects, play a crucial role in flowering plant reproduction and in the production of most fruits and vegetables.

Examples of crops that are pollinated include apples, squash, and almonds. Without the assistance of pollinators, most plants cannot produce fruits and seeds. The fruits and seeds of flowering plants are an important food source for people and wildlife.  Some of the seeds that are not eaten will eventually produce new plants, helping to maintain the plant population.

Over 75% of all flowering plants are pollinated by animals.   

In the United States pollination by honey bees directly or indirectly (e.g., pollination required to produce seeds for the crop) contributed to over $19 billion of crops in 2010. Pollination by other insect pollinators contributed to nearly $10 billion of crops in 2010.

A recent study of the status of pollinators in North America by the National Academy of Sciences found that populations of honey bees (which are not native to North America) and some wild pollinators are declining.  Declines in wild pollinators may be a result of habitat loss and degradation, while declines in managed bees is linked to disease (introduced parasites and pathogens).

WHAT IS POLLINATION?

Pollination results when the pollen from the male part of the flower (stamen) is moved to the female part of the same or another flower (stigma) and fertilizes it, resulting in the production of fruits and seeds.  Some flowers rely on the wind to move pollen, while other rely on animals to move pollen.  

Animals visit flowers in search of food and sometimes even mates, shelter and nest-building materials. Some animals, such as many bees, intentionally collect pollen, while others, such as many butterflies and birds, move pollen incidentally because the pollen sticks on their body while they are collecting nectar from the flowers. All of these animals are considered pollinators.

News and Activities:


image of a bee collecting pollin
Photo by Mike Higgins.

National Pollinator Week Proclamation from Secretary Jewel


USFWS meets the 2012 Pollinator Challenge to conserve pollinators and educate the public about how to help. Find out more and see pictures!


Attracting Pollinators to your Garden

Pollinator Brochure: Attracting Pollinators to your Garden.

Web version (500 KB pdf) pdf file icon
Print version (5.7 MB pdf) pdf file icon


Neighborhood Explores image Neighborhood Explorers
Learn about pollinators and other wildlife using Neighborhood Explorers. Pollinators are featured in "Lucy's Story", "Lucy's Challenge", and "NX Detective Game".


PowerPoint Presentation: "The Birds and the Bees and . . .The Beetles? Why we should care about pollinators"


 

Last Updated: December 20, 2013