Why should you care about pollinators?
You may not realize it, but pollinators account for nearly one-third of all foods and beverages worldwide. Pollinators are often keystone species, meaning they are critical to an ecosystem. The work of pollinators ensures full harvests of crops and contributes to healthy plants everywhere. There is no denying that we are seeing fewer and fewer bees. There are over 4,000 native bee species in North America and Hawaii. One in two of these are estimated to be in decline, and an alarming one in four are suspected of approaching extinction.
In 2017, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service added the rusty patched bumble bee – a key pollinator of blueberries, tomatoes and wildflowers – to the Endangered Species List – the first time any bee species in the continental U.S. has been added to the list. Bees today face a wide array of obstacles ranging from climate change to pests and pathogens. The most pressing problems stem from ever-intensifying agriculture practices, which include destruction of natural habitats, creation of massive crop monocultures, and widespread pesticide use.
Want to learn more about pollinators and how you can help?