Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's National Pollinator Week, 6.21-27

The fourth annual celebration of pollinators -- those birds, bees, butterflies, birds, bats and other creatures that contribute to humans' food supply -- began yesterday. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack pointed out that pollinators play critical roles in the reproduction of 90 percent of flowering plants and one-third of human food crops.

The National Pollinator Week kit provides great resources about pollinators and for NPW events. The "For Kids" section includes a pollinator crossword puzzle, details about building a bee condo and a list of five things that children can do to help pollinators.

The "Fast Facts" section offers a page for educators and students, and it provides a link to a curriculum for grades 3-6 from North American Pollinator Protection Campaign. The curriculum includes six modules and points out that more than 150 food crops in the U.S. depend on pollinators, including apples, almonds, blueberries, cranberries, melons, pears and plums.

North American Pollinator Protection Campaign offers more details on its website, including information from a 2006 study that described the decline of pollinator populations, including hummingbirds.

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