It seems like an odd time of year to talk about pollinators, given that we are in the dead of winter here in Wisconsin. But Cascadian Farm and National Co+op Grocers have chosen this month to share information - and a giveaway! - nationwide, to bring more attention to this topic of global importance.
Pollinators are an important part of our food system, and especially organic farming. 35% of crop production around the world relies on pollinators to produce fruits and seeds. Diverse native insect populations can benefit farmers through additional yield and reduced need for pesticides, among other environmental benefits. Hedgerows planted for pollinators contribute to healthier soil by preventing erosion and drought while addressing climate change by sequestering carbon.
Cascadian Farm is currently funding research to better understand the decline of honeybees, invest to conserve and expand bee habitats and improve the health and effectiveness of bees as pollinators.
What can you do?
From 2/13-2/26, sign up at Basics to win a pollinator welcome package worth over $100 including a Bee Hotel, Bee Waterer, and the Xerces Society Healthy Habitat for Pollinators book
Learn. Read up on other ways to create a welcoming environment for pollinators (see the Xerces link above). Attend the holistic landscaping classes this month and next at the Co-op.
Choose organic foods as often as possible in order to reduce dependence on bee-killing pesticides
While we might be stuck inside dreaming of spring for a while yet…there’s a lot we can do right now to ensure that our pollinators are welcome and protected!