2014 National Pollinator Week set for June

Jackson, Miss—For the last seven years, the U.S. Senate has unanimously approved and designated a week in June as National Pollinator Week. This year, that week is June 16-22. The United States Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is promoting the pollinator week to remind Mississippians how important pollinators are to the environment and how to help protect and conserve their essential habitats.
Bees, butterflies, beetles, moths, flies, wasps, and even non-insect animals such as birds, bats, and some small mammals are pollinators. These animals visit flowers to drink nectar or feed on pollen and then transport the pollen grains as they move from plant to plant.
The majority of all flowering plants on the earth need help with pollination, including many of the crops that provide our food. In addition to the food that we eat, pollinators also sustain our ecosystems by helping plants reproduce and provide food and habitat for wildlife. Unfortunately, some species of pollinators have seen a 90% decline in their populations over the last decade. In many areas, the essential service of pollination is at risk from habitat loss, pesticide use, and diseases.
The NRCS encourages everyone to take an active role in saving the honey bee and other pollinators by adopting pollinator-friendly land management practices. Some practices include planting a diversity of flowering species in clumps that will bloom throughout the growing season to supply an abundance of pollen and nectar. Leave patches of bare ground and create brush piles to create nesting areas and reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides.
Pollinator conservation is an important environmental and economic issue. The NRCS is one of the partners working to assist private landowners with conserving our valuable pollinators. For more information about how to provide pollinator-friendly habitat on your farm or ranch, check out the following website, http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/plantsanimals/pollinate/
or visit your local USDA/NRCS Service Center. To locate a service center visit our website. http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/contact/local/