Pollinator species such as honeybees, bumble bees, butterflies, and other insects are an essential component in the production of much of our food supply. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) encourages all Virginians to join in celebrating National Pollinator Week, June 19 – 25, by helping to attract, protect and increase the state’s pollinator species.
Pollination occurs when insects, animals, wind, or water transfer pollen from the anther of one plant or flower to the stigma of another in the process of fertilization. In most plants, pollination is necessary for the plant to produce seeds. Pollination that occurs from contact with insects and animals, results in a higher yield of fruit for some plants, such as strawberry, cucumber, apple, tomato, squash, or watermelon plants.
“Over the past few years, bee populations, as well as the populations of other pollinators such as birds, butterflies, bats and beetles, have declined dramatically,” said Keith Tignor, State Apiarist, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. “I encourage every Virginian to take steps to help attract, protect and increase the state’s pollinator species.”
The following are a few suggestions to help attract, protect and increase the populations of pollinators in Virginia:
Support your local beekeeper by buying local honey.
Plant flowers in a variety of colors and shapes to attract pollinators to your garden, window box or hanging basket. Go to pollinator.org/guides and enter your zip code for an area-specific guide and a great aid to get started.
Set up a pollinator refreshment station in your garden. Add water in a shallow bowl or pie tin with rocks or marbles for bees to stand.
Learn more about how to interact with bees.
Become a beekeeper by setting up your own hive. State Apiarist Tignor, Virginia Cooperative Extension or a local beekeeping association are great resources for more information.
For additional information, contact the Virginia State Apiarist at 804.786.3515 or at email@example.com.
Submitted by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services