Pollination is essential to a healthy ecosystem. More than 150 crops in the U.S. require pollinators - from almonds, apples, alfalfa … to melons, pears and squash. While 1,035 species of vertebrates (birds and small mammals) do their part, the vast majority of plants are pollinated by more than 100,000 invertebrate species (bees moths, butterflies, beetles and flies) The most important pollinator for agriculture is the honeybee, but their colonies have decreased by 50% since 1940. While habitat destruction and pesticides are contributing significantly to this decline, climate change is also having a profound effect. The espaliered pear tree in our Teaching garden only has five pears this year. This is probably because its blossoms now come and go, before most honeybees even emerge from winter hibernation. This is not an isolated phenomenon. Somehow, we must prod our county, state and national leaders to take into account the critical role of pollinators when formulating policies for agriculture and other land uses. Even more importantly, we really can’t just ignore the ravaging effects of climate change on our planet. We do so, at the peril of our own children and grandchildren.
The robins in the pollinator garden arborvitae are now proud parents!! Both mother and fledgling are doing well!
June 23, 2017