Why Pollinators are Important
Over 75% of all flowering plants are pollinated by animals! 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. Over 150 food crops in the United States depend on pollinators, including blueberries, apples, oranges, squash, tomatoes, 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.
In the United States pollination by honey bees directly or indirectly 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 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).
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
Click on the thumbnails below to learn about the beautiful pollinator-friendly plants on display in the Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Resources Office pollinator garden!
Summer intern Caitlin Shea-Vantine planting our pollinator garden in August, 2014. Photo Credit: USFWS
August 27, 2014