Happy National Pollinator Week!

— Written By
Brown-belted bumble bee on purple coneflower

Brown-belted bumble bee on purple coneflower

Plant Flowers for National Pollinator Week!

Today marks the beginning of the 8th annual National Pollinator Week which is celebrated this year from June 16-22.

I have to say that I feel like every week is Pollinator Week for me with the many programs I do on pollinator conservation around the state!

Right here in Pittsboro we just had our best ever Pollinator Day on May 10. This event is conducted annually by Chatham County Cooperative Extension and the Chatham County Beekeepers’ Association and attracts hundreds of folks of all ages to learn about pollinators in a fun setting.

2014 Pollinator Day celebration

2014 Pollinator Day celebration

Chatham County Cooperative Extension’s Pollinator Paradise Demonstration Garden in Pittsboro attracts visitors from around the state and has inspired dozens of pollinator gardens throughout the region. The Pittsboro garden was recently recognized as one of Six Gardens to Improve your Mood by the News & Observer!

Cooperative Extension's Pollinator Paradise Garden in Pittsboro

Cooperative Extension’s Pollinator Paradise Garden in Pittsboro

Cooperative Extension's Pollinator Paradise Garden in Pittsboro

Cooperative Extension’s Pollinator Paradise Garden in Pittsboro

Monarch on blazing star

Monarch on blazing star

Carpenter-mimic leafcutter bee

Carpenter-mimic leafcutter bee on butterfly weed

I’m glad there is a week that encourages people around the world to stop and think about and appreciate the role of pollinators in our lives.

Pollinators are a vital part of our ecosystem, pollinating many plants that provide forage for birds and other wildlife. About one-third of the food we eat is pollinated by bees and other insects. Unfortunately many pollinator species are in decline and could use our help.

What can you do to help pollinators?

Reduce your impact—reduce pesticide use, increase green spaces and protect pollinator foraging and nesting habitat.

Plant a pollinator garden! Take a virtual tour of Chatham County Cooperative Extension’s Pollinator Paradise Demonstration Garden for inspiration. Visit the garden in person and attend one of the monthly garden tours. Attend one of Extension’s Pollinator Gardening workshops (next offered in the fall of 2014; visit the Enhancing Sustainability Workshops page for details which will be released in July).

Become a beekeeper! Chatham County Cooperative Extension and the Chatham County Beekeepers’ Association team up to conduct an 8-week Beekeeping School every other year. The school is very popular and always sells out. The next school will be January-February 2015 and we will open registration in the fall.

Chatham County Beekeeping School

Chatham County Beekeeping School

Web Resources:

Website for Cooperative Extension’s Pollinator Paradise Garden

Virtual Tour (Slideshow) of Cooperative Extension’s Pollinator Paradise Garden

Web Resources for Pollinator Conservation

Cooperative Extension’s Pollinator Conservation Guide

Debbie’s List of the Top 25 Pollinator Plants for the North Carolina Piedmont

Web Resources for Beekeeping

Resource List for Pollinator Conservation