Pollinator Week Emphasizes Need for Collective Effort to Safeguard Important Species

The National Pest Management Association encourages homeowners to plant pollinator-friendly gardens

FAIRFAX, Va. (June 16, 2014) – The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) joins government agencies, private companies, non-governmental organizations and foundations in calling attention to the importance of pollinator health during National Pollinator Week (June 16-22) and beyond. Pollinators include bees, such as honey bees and bumble bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles, with bees playing one of the most integral roles in the nation's food supply chain.

"Many people may know that bees and other pollinators are important to crops, but may not know that these essential species are under threat from a number of sources, such as lack of available nectar and pollen sources due to increased urbanization and problems caused from diseases and parasites," said Dr. Richard Fell, pollinator health advisor for the NPMA and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Entomology at Virginia Tech. "Simply put, without bees to spread pollen, a large number of fruits and vegetables will not be able to form and grow, severely impacting farmers and consumers alike."

"While we have yet to determine the causes of bee colony decline, we do know that there are a number of factors involved. As the research continues, it is important that the public gain an understanding of the small steps they can take to help pollinators in their communities." added Fell.

The NPMA suggests the following ways the public can help pollinators locally:

  • Create a pollinator-friendly garden with flowering plants, herbs and vegetables, including wildflowers, lavender, sunflowers, golden rod, honey suckle, chives, oregano and thyme to help them thrive. Because stinging insects can pose health threats, to keep family members and pets safe, these gardens should be planted away from the home or outdoor seating areas.
  • Buy local honey and support community beekeepers.
  • Do not attempt to remove or eliminate nests and hives - instead contact a pest professional or beekeeper who can do so safely while preserving the bees.

The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment to the protection of public health, food and property. For more information, visit PestWorld.org.