Sacramento, California - June 18-24 is “Pollinator Week,” a time to spotlight the need to maintain pollinator health, including the serious issue of declining bee populations. Pollinator Week was originally created by Congress 11 years ago and has now grown into an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by the “B’s:” birds, butterflies, bees, bats and beetles.
Governor Brown has recognized the significance of pollinators in California with a commemorative letter in honor of the week:
“Pollinator species such as birds and insects are essential partners to farmers and ranchers in producing much of our food supply. Pollinators also provide significant environmental benefits necessary for maintaining biodiversity and healthy ecosystems.
“The health of our national forest and grasslands depends on pollination. These open spaces provide forage, fish and wildlife, timber, water, mineral resources and recreational opportunities for communities and the vital industries that serve them.
“The state of California provides producers with conservation assistance to promote wise stewardship of lands and habitats, including the protection and maintenance of pollinators on working and wild lands.
“As Governor of the state of California, I urge all citizens to the recognize the important role that pollination plays in our state’s economy and ecosystems.”
Pollinator health is behind CDFA’s new Bee Safe Program, which will begin on July 1, 2018 with a $1.85 million budget appropriation intended to improve the health and survival of honeybees by increasing foraging opportunities, reducing pesticide exposure, and providing funds for enforcement of existing laws at the local level to promote and protect California’s beekeeping industry.
Each year, thousands of shipments carrying more than 650,000 beehives are transported into California in time for the almond bloom. Honeybees help pollinate at least 90 different crops in addition to almonds, including berries, cucumbers, cantaloupes and apples.
CDFA highlighted ongoing concerns with declining bee populations in its award-winning Growing California video series. Here is “Blossom Buddies,” parts one and two.