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I'm wishing there had been a bit more buzz about this being designated Pollinator Week by the U.S. Senate. Here it is already Thursday, leaving just three more days to officially geek out about bees and such until Pollinator Week, always the last week in June, rolls around again in 2013.

There's plenty to geek out about. The worrisome decline in bee populations over the past few years is putting our food supply at risk. After all, every third bite or sip we take is dependent on pollinators. Butterflies, bats, birds and beetles are pollinators too, but bees do most of the work. There's actually more than the five B's, since small mammals, moths and wasps pollinate, too.

Still, we can be hopeful that pollinator-dependent food crops (coffee, chocolate, melons, apples, pears, peaches, vanilla, etc.--pretty much everything) will make it. Hives of entomologists are working on the mysterious colony collapse disorder, the term used to describe the unexplained disappearance of an alarming number of honeybees in North America and Europe. And perhaps it's a good sign that New York City is suddenly finding itself with more bees than it can handle.

Factoids abound at the Pollinator Partnership website, which is up year-round. The niftiest feature is a tool that lets you enter your zip code to find out what you should plant in your yard to promote pollinator health.


Austin Bailey

Austin Bailey is a writer and editor for Heifer's World Ark magazine.