By Nova C.
Pollinators are not something most of us think about too much but when we go to the farmer’s market or the grocery store, much of what we eat is produced because of pollinators. In the US honey bees and other pollinators produce $40 billion worth of products annually. If you think of some of our favorite summer snacks – melons and peaches, both need pollinators. For those people who can’t exist without coffee in the morning or chocolate at any point, thank a pollinator. The ranks of pollinators include bees, birds, bats, butterflies, beetles, and moths, as well as some other animals.
June 15th– 21st is the 8th annual National Pollinator Week Celebration in the US. It is also Louisiana Pollinator Week. This is a great time to learn more about pollinators and what you can do to help them. Monarch butterflies are being considered for listing as an endangered species but other pollinators are also in trouble. The US has lost over 50% of managed honeybee colonies in the last 10 years. One of the things that you can do to help pollinators is to plant more native plants and reduce the use of pesticides. Native plants are adapted to Louisiana pests and climate and will require less care than an ornamental and are also beautiful.
Saturday, June 20th at Black Bayou Lake NWR we will be having a Pollinator Celebration from 10 – 1 PM. You can come out and learn about our native pollinators, especially butterflies and see some of our native species and their caterpillars. You can make a butterfly or hummingbird feeder to take home, play some pollinator trivia to win this year’s poster, and enjoy snacks provided by pollinators. For more information about pollinators in general go to www.pollinator.org. For information about the event of Saturday you can call 318-387-1114 or www.Facebook.com/BlackBayouLakeNWR.
Nova is the Education Specialist and Refuge Ranger at the Black Bayou Lake NWR in Monroe, LA.