It’s officially the seventh annual Pollinator Week, an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services that bees, birds, butterflies, bats, and beetles provide. Without the actions of pollinators’ agricultural economies, our food supply and surrounding landscapes would collapse.

This is a week to get the importance of the pro-pollinators message out to as many people as possible! Pollinators are vital to our lives, so let’s celebrate them!

Pollinator Week was initiated and is managed by the Pollinator Partnership, a nonprofit dedicated exclusively to the protection and promotion of pollinators and their ecosystems. The U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval and designation of a week in June as “National Pollinator Week” marked a milestone and was a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture signs the proclamation every year.

Press Stunts And Toxic Pesticides

Pesticide companies design products that kill. And, after seven consecutive years of colony collapse disorder and global bee deaths, a recently published study has proved that systemic pesticides are at the root of their demise. Systemics also affect other pollinators, as well as all animals and human beings.

Rather than take responsibility for this environmental catastrophe and pull these poisons from the market, giant bio tech companies like Bayer focus on PR to divert attention. Case in point, Bayer is set to conclude its 2014 “Bee Care Tour” with a final stop in Washington, D.C. for a pollinator patch planting, an exhibit at Union Station, and a Congressional reception.

“Unfortunately, this tour is part of a well-orchestrated PR spin to try to divert public attention from the harms of pesticides to pollinators,” says Larissa Walker, Policy and Campaign Coordinator at the Center for Food Safety. “Rather than putting time and resources toward curbing the harms of bee-toxic chemicals, pesticide manufacturers are instead investing heavily in camouflage and misdirection.”

The growing concern for pollinators is a sign of progress, but it is vital that we continue to maximize our collective effort. It’s not too early to start thinking about an event at your school, garden, church, or store.

Here are some things you can do to help educate people about our pollinators, especially our honeybees.

  • Host a screening of the award-winning film Vanishing of the Bees, serve some organic veggies, and have a lively debate.
  • Wear a Bee the Change tee-shirt,  featured in Lucky Magazine, and make a bold statement. Change begins with us!
  • Find an event in your area.
  • Attend one of the daily Twitter chats where a range of pollinator topics will be explored. 6/16 – 6/20: 10 a.m. PST/1 p.m. EST. Join the conversation online with the hashtag #pollinatorchat.

Daily Topics Will Be:

  • Mon – Importance of bees & other pollinators
  • Tues – What can we do to help bees?
  • Weds – “Beewashing” and Bayer’s bee-care tour
  • Thurs – Stories from the hive: A conversation with beekeeper Jim Doan
  • Fri – Birds, bats, and butterflies

Maryam Henein is an investigative journalist, professional researcher, and producer of the award-winning documentary Vanishing of the Bees.

Find out more about Maryam….

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