Pollinators are the unsung heroes of our gardens, fields, and farms.
Over 100,000 invertebrates—including bees, butterflies, beetles, moths, wasps, and flies—and more than a thousand mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians take on the job of pollinating plants. This biodiverse group of wildlife buzzes, flutters, and creeps from plant to plant, dining on protein-rich pollen and high-energy nectar. As they move, they transport and deposit pollen, fertilizing plants and allowing those plants to reproduce.
Bees are the most numerous, effective, and important pollinators. They pollinate both our crops and wild plants, providing us with one-third of the food we eat and allowing wild plants to reproduce and produce the berries, fruits, seeds, and other plant foods that form the base of the natural food web. The domesticated honey bee pollinates the vast majority of agricultural crops. At the same time, roughly 4,000 species of native bees—some of which are endangered—perform the critically important ecological service of pollinating wild plants across all North American ecosystems. Many bees are generalists, but some species are specialized pollinators that require specific host plants to survive. Without healthy habitat, wild bee populations decline and our ecosystems weaken.
Pollinators worldwide are in decline, losing numbers to threats like pesticide poisoning, habitat loss, and disease. The loss of bee populations in particular poses a big risk to both our agricultural system and the ecosystem that supports other wildlife. At the same time, the iconic monarch butterfly has declined by 90 percent in just the last 20 years.
Creating a wildlife habitat garden is one way to help bees and other pollinators at a local level. Plant native blooming trees, shrubs, and wildflowers to provide pollinators with nectar and pollen to eat. Offer water, and don’t spray pesticides. If everyone does their own part in their own yards and communities, the collective benefit to pollinators will be significant.
Celebrate Pollinator Month!
This June we’re celebrating the third anniversary of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a national initiative to bring back the bees.
Take Action for Pollinators
Learn about more ways to help reverse the decline of these incredible species.
Test Your Bee IQ
How much do you actually know about these industrious insects? Take our quiz and find out!
Place your order today for the themed box that delivers everything you need to create family memories while discovering nature and wildlife.Read More
Find out what it means to source wood sustainably, and see how your favorite furniture brands rank based on their wood sourcing policies, goals, and practices.Read More
Climate change is allowing ticks to survive in greater numbers and expand their range—influencing the survival of their hosts and the bacteria that cause the diseases they carry.Read More
Tell your members of Congress to save America's vulnerable wildlife by supporting the Recovering America's Wildlife Act.Read More
You don't have to travel far to join us for an event. Attend an upcoming event with one of our regional centers or affiliates.