National Pollinator Week is June 21-27!
Pollinator week is an annual event that recognizes and celebrates the essential roles our pollinators play with regard to ecosystem function and health. Pollinators contribute positively to all ecosystems, especially farmland!
Pollination is the transfer of pollen from the male portion of a plant to the female portion. Most plants, including agricultural crops, rely on pollinators to carry out this critical step in their lifecycle. When pollination is successful, it results in fertilization and allows the plant to develop fruit, nuts or seeds (Terpstra, 2017).
Native insects such as ants, bees, butterflies, beetles and flies are all valuable crop pollinators. Some species of birds and bats have also been found to lend a helping hand in the pollination process!
When you think of pollinators, honey bees are probably the first that come to mind. But did you know that wild bees also pollinate many of our crops? In Ontario, thirty-two of our crops that have economic importance are pollinated by bees, both honey bees and wild bees, and other insects (Terpstra, 2017).
Some of the crops that pollinators assist in providing are cucumbers, pumpkins, tomatoes, water melon, squash, apples, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, peaches, strawberries, alfalfa, canola, sunflowers and soybeans! (Terpstra, 2017).
Did you know that our farmland easement agreements also protect some natural meadow spaces, in addition to the agricultural land, forests, and wetlands? Natural meadows are incredibly valuable pollinator areas within the landscape of Southern Ontario, and they provide beneficial habitat for wildlife, including pollinators like Monarchs and bees!
Join us this week in celebrating the important roles our pollinators fill on our farmland! Learn more about National Pollinator Week here.
Terpstra, J. (2017, September 25th). Meet Ontario’s Pollinators. Retrieved from University of Guelph, Ontario Agricultural College: https://www.uoguelph.ca/oac/news/meet-ontarios-pollinators