Finding New Ways to Celebrate National Pollinator Week

National Pollinator Week, June 22-28, 2020, was a special week! In 2007, the U.S. Senate unanimously voted to designate a week in June each year as National Pollinator Week. This time is dedicated to celebrating these small-but-mighty champions and sharing all about the important contributions they make to both biodiversity and our food supply. If you frequent our site, you likely know that honey bees are on the list of important pollinators. However, you may not know that wasps, butterflies, other insects, birds and bats are all pollinators, too! Most years for National Pollinator Week, we encourage you to get out in your communities to celebrate pollinators with events, such as group plantings to help increase forage around your town. While this was not possible in every community this year due to health and safety concerns, we found plenty of ways to celebrate from home.

Supporting Pollinators with the Family

This year during National Pollinator Week, we partnered with moms across the nation to showcase how they’re keeping their little ones engaged and learning this summer with pollinator-friendly activities. We know this year has forced many families to stay at home for long periods of time, so these activities offer a bit of educational fun outside and in the kitchen. As you can see from our partners’ posts, a small planting in your yard or in a flower pot is always a big hit for the family, and it gives pollinators a much-needed source of nutrition. Let your kids’ creativity shine by decorating planters with markers, stencils and paint, while planting pollinator-attractant flowers to help #FeedABee!

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@lanaato  @mommasociety

 

To keep the fun going once snack time hits, these moms chose recipe activities, such as making fruit “pizza” topped with ingredients brought to you by pollinators, including blueberries, strawberries and honey. Talk about an easy way to get your kids to eat their fruit!

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@t.mama.tx

Spreading the Love with Wildflower Seeds

Did you know that nectar and pollen provide food to all kinds of pollinators? Planting wildflowers is a great way to provide this food, which in turn supports the health of bees, butterflies and other pollinators. In recognition of National Pollinator Week, the Bayer Feed a Bee program relaunched its seed giveaway program, focused on making wildflower seeds available to pollinator enthusiasts across the U.S.. Anyone interested can request a free shipment of Feed a Bee seed packets to create a pollinator haven in backyards, community gardens, on windowsills, doorsteps and more. In fact, to our pleasant surprise, so many people ordered wildflower seeds during National Pollinator Week that we had to restock! (We will have our seed packets back in stock by fall 2020.) If you’re interested in planting forage wherever you are – from Georgia to California and everywhere in between – visit FeedA.Bee.com/seeds or your local nursery to learn more.

Recognizing Next Gen Leaders in Pollinator Health

Beekeepers also play a vital role in supporting honey bee and pollinator health. This year during National Pollinator Week, we also celebrated young pollinator enthusiasts and beekeepers by launching the 2020 Bayer Bee Care Blue Ribbon Beekeeper Award. The award recognizes young leaders (12-18 years old) who have created unique projects on their own or with their local communities to promote and protect pollinator health for years to come.

Do you know a young beekeeper or pollinator health advocate passionate about education and outreach? Encourage them to apply to the Blue Ribbon Beekeeper Award by August 21, 2020 for the chance to earn a $3,000 (first), $2,000 (second) or $1,000 (third) place prize, which can be applied toward continuing their beekeeping efforts or a college scholarship.

Learn more about past award recipients, this year’s award and our panel of expert judges here.

Beat the Heat with a Tasty, Pollinator-Inspired Treat! 

Another fun fact you may not know is that honey bees contribute much more to our food supply than just honey. From avocados to blueberries to watermelon and beyond, many of our favorite warm-weather foods also rely on pollination. To celebrate National Pollinator Week this year, we whipped up a few pollinator-inspired popsicles for a treat to not only recognize our fuzzy friends but also beat the summer heat!

Everything in the recipe below designated by an asterisk* is produced with help from pollinators.

Blueberry Lemonade Popsicles

Makes 8 pops

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Materials Needed:

  • Popsicle molds
  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Whisk

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of lemonade*
  • Juice from ½ lime*
  • 2/3 cup of honey* and vanilla* Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup of blueberries*
  • 1 ½ tablespoon of finely chopped fresh mint*

Directions:

  1. Whisk together yogurt, lime juice and lemonade in a large bowl.
  2. Stir in chopped mint.
  3. Place five to six blueberries in each popsicle mold.
  4. While stirring to keep mint evenly spread throughout, pour the mixture to the top of the fill line of the popsicle molds.
  5. Freeze for six hours or overnight to enjoy.

Though National Pollinator Week has already passed, butterflies, bees and other pollinators work year-round to provide us with many of the foods we eat. From cooking with pollinated ingredients to planting BEE-autiful pollinator-attractant flowers in your home garden, there are many ways to celebrate pollinators each and every day!