June 15-21 has been declared Pollinator Week by the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD). In conjunction with the USDA–NRCS, US Forest Service, the Pollinator Partnership, and others the group is celebrating what may seem like annoying insects.
“Pollinators play a critical role in our everyday lives, and it’s important that we work to protect their habitat,” says NACD President Lee McDaniel. “Pollinators form the underpinning of a healthy and sustainable future for food and the environment.”
“America’s families depend on pollinators, essential in agriculture and critical to the production of more than one-third of our food products. In fact, more than 75 percent of flowering plants rely on pollinators,” said U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden. “National Pollinator Week is a once-a-year observance that helps to educate the American public about the importance of pollinators to our food supply, information that we should remember year-round.”
When pollinators shrink in number, many plants either produce less seed or no seed at all. The bottom line is, when pollinators start disappearing, plants start disappearing. Most plants depend upon pollinators to reproduce. While animals can travel and move around to find mates and reproduce, plants are rooted to one spot. Therefore, plants depend on pollinators to move pollen from their anthers to their stigma.
On planet Earth there are more than 100,000 species of insects, including bees, flies, moths, butterflies and beetles that work hard as pollinators. There are also over 1,000 species of other animals such as birds, reptiles and mammals, including bats that pollinate plants.