The best time to bee a friend to pollinators is now! Today is the first day of summer and the launch of National Pollinator Week, June 20-26. Around the globe, people are celebrating with events that emphasize the importance of pollinators and teach ways to save them. Here at USDA, we’ve issued the National Pollinator Week Proclamation and are hosting our seventh annual Pollinator Week Festival this Friday, June 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside USDA Headquarters in Washington, DC.
The festival highlights the work of USDA agencies, other federal departments and institutions such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Smithsonian Gardens, and the U.S. Botanic Garden, who along with partners like the National Honey Board, Pollinator Partnership and University of Maryland Extension are working to address pollinator decline.
It’s a free (and fun) event for all ages to learn about the birds and the bees – as well as other pollinators like bats and monarch butterflies. Ask experts, participate in kid-friendly activities and watch live demonstrations about why you should care about pollinators, what is being done to protect them, and how you can help them not only survive but thrive. It’s as easy as planting a window box for pollinators.
Pollinators like bees and bats shouldn’t scare us. What should be worrisome is a world without them. The simple truth is that every one of us needs pollinators to survive. Pollinators visit flowers providing an essential ecological function – pollination, which in return produces fruits including many summertime favorites like watermelon.
You can see how such a crisis could affect our food system at the USDA Farmers Market, located next to the Pollinator Week Festival. Stop at the market for groceries or lunch and see signs labeling produce and prepared food offerings we’d be without if not for the hard work of bees, birds, butterflies, bats and other pollinators.
National Pollinator Week is an annual reminder that each of us can be a friend to pollinators. Learn ways to help in your community on the People’s Garden website at https://peoplesgarden.usda.gov/ and don’t forget to share your actions, big or small, with us on Twitter @PeoplesGarden. Your neighborhood pollinators will thank you!
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, Transportation and Marketing Program oversees the People’s Garden Initiative for the Department.