Bee and pollinator health a serious concern and a priority

Farm Forum

Across the globe people are celebrating Pollinator Week on June 17-23, 2013. Established in 2007, Pollinator Week has grown exponentially in scope each year, drawing the support and endorsement of governors, mayors and other respected elected officials across the United States. 2013 Pollinator Week Proclamations signed by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and U.S. Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell helped kick off the celebration.

Pollinators are birds, bats, butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, wasps, small mammals, and most importantly, bees. They are responsible for pollinating nearly one-third of every bite of food we eat and the global value of crops pollinated by bees is estimated to be nearly $217 billion. These invaluable creatures are facing troubling declines in the U.S. Some species have seen a 90% decline in their populations over the last decade. Pollinator Week efforts are working to reverse and prevent declines.

Laurie Davies Adams, Executive Director of the Pollinator Partnership (P2) said, “We applaud and support everyone participating in Pollinator Week 2013. Their efforts, big and small, make positive changes happen for pollinators, the environment, our food supply and our ecosystems.”

“National Pollinator Week is a time to raise awareness about the importance of bees, birds and other pollinator species to agriculture, forest and grassland environments and other ecosystems,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “I encourage all Americans to learn about the important work that is being done to conserve, protect and restore their habitats, and more importantly, to join in and help take steps to support healthy pollinator populations – many that can be done in your own backyard.”

P2 is joining with federal agencies and other partners in providing pollinator-friendly activities and exhibits at a pollinator festival hosted by the Secretary’s People’s Garden Initiative on Friday, June 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. by the USDA Farmer’s Market outside USDA Headquarters in Washington, DC.

“Pollinators on our nation’s public and private lands play a key role in keeping our ecosystems diverse, which in turn provides for healthy habitats and economies,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. “We appreciate the important public-private partnerships that are working together to encourage the long-term health of pollinating creatures.”

There is something for everyone during Pollinator Week – farmers, businesses, schools, nature centers, churches, scout groups, government and community groups are all pitching in across the globe. There are multiple ways to be involved – here are a few:

S.H.A.R.E. – Simply Have Areas Reserved for the Environment

Join P2 and be a part of our goal to create a million S.H.A.R.E. (Simply Have Areas Reserved for the Environment) sites from window boxes to acres of farm land, all registered and mapped. Your landscape and efforts for pollinators make a difference and through the S.H.A.R.E. program, we spotlight these efforts on a map. Let us know what you’re doing by registering your pollinator habitat today. A visit to the P2 S.H.A.R.E. web page will get you on the road to sharing!

Cool New Poster

For 2013, Pollinator Week showcases the brand new pollinator poster The Wonder of Discovery – Pollinators All Around. This 2013 poster debuts pollinator scenes artist- Carolyn Vibbert. Vibbert’s approach to The Wonder of Discover poster includes a bold, simple color palette and scenes full of action. “This is the first pollinator poster we have done that includes a vital player in the world of pollinators- people!” explains P2’s Communication Manager, Sunny Boyd. The poster is available at

BeeSmart School Garden Kits

In 2013 Pollinator Week aspires the younger generation by helping them get outside to observe, plant, conserve and celebrate pollinators while learning. The BeeSmart School Garden Kit is designed for students in grades 3-6 to guide them through a discovery process that connects them to plants, pollinators, food and gardens. Each Kit contains lesson plans, materials for activities, worksheets, pre- and post-tests, and much more!

Pollinator Week Support

The National Military Fish and Wildlife Association (NMFWA) has embraced Pollinator Week with its own proclamation and statement urging that the Department of Defense’s nearly 30 million acres participate in P2’s S.H.A.R.E. registration. The NMFWA land managers join the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in this campaign – a campaign that is growing through corporate support such as Burt’s Bees, among others.

Burt’s Bees brand is also hosting a wildflower seed giveaway and a collection of bee-pollinated recipes – find out more at

A number of State governors and community leaders have also issued Pollinator Week proclamations.