The following excerpts in quotations are as they appear on this website: http://www.ask.com/wiki/Pollinator_decline under this liscence: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/. The licensor does not endorse us or our use of the material.
"The term pollinator decline refers to the reduction in abundance of pollinators in many ecosystems worldwide during the end of the twentieth century. Pollinators participate in sexual reproduction of many plants, by ensuring cross-pollination, essential for some species, or a major factor in ensuring genetic diversity for others. Since plants are the primary food source for animals, the reduction of one of the primary pollination agents, or even their possible disappearance, has raised concern, and the conservation of pollinators has become part of biodiversity conservation efforts."
"The value of bee pollination in human nutrition and food for wildlife is immense and difficult to quantify."
"The steady increase in beekeeper migration (for pollination service on agricultural crops) has masked the issue of pollinator decline from much public awareness, however sudden blocks to such migration could have catastrophic results on the global food supply."
"There are international initiatives (e.g. the International Pollinator Initiative (IPI)) that highlight the need for public participation and awareness of pollinator, such as bees, conservation "
Two studies have linked neonicotinoid pesticide exposure to bee health decline. These two studies, one French, one British, add to a growing body of scientific literature and strengthen the case for removing pesticides toxic to bees from the market. The French study shows that pesticides interfere with honey bee brains, affecting their ability to navigate. The British research finds that pesticides prevent bumble bees from collecting enough food to produce new queens. These studies were released on the heels of an emergency legal petition by beekeepers and environmental groups, that calls for the banning of the bee-killing pesticide clothianidin."
"On March 21, 2012, commercial beekeepers and environmental organizations filed an emergency legal petition with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to suspend use of clothianidin, urging the agency to adopt safeguards. The legal petition is supported by over one million citizen
petition signatures, targets the pesticide for its harmful impacts on honey bees. The legal petition points to the fact that the EPA failed to follow its own regulations. EPA granted a conditional, or temporary, registration to clothianidin in 2003 without a required field study establishing that the pesticide would have no “unreasonable adverse effects” on pollinators. Granting conditional registration was contingent upon the subsequent submission of an acceptable field study,but this requirement has not been met. EPA continues to allow the use of clothianidin nine years after acknowledging that it had an insufficient legal basis for initially allowing its use. Additionally, the product labels on pesticides containing clothianidin are inadequate to prevent excessive damage to non-target organisms, which is a second violation of the requirements for using a pesticide and further warrants removing all such mislabeled pesticides from use. It is a label violation to apply most insecticides on crops during bloom, or to allow the pesticide to drift to blooming weeds that bees are visiting. Yet such applications are frequently done, with little enforcement of the bee protection directions. Pesticide misuse has driven beekeepers out of business, but can affect native wild bees even more, because they have no human to move or protect them. Bumblebee populations are in jeopardy in cotton-growing areas, since they are dosed repeatedly when pesticide applicators apply insecticides on blooming cotton fields while the bees are foraging. Widespread aerial applications for mosquitoes, med-flies, grasshoppers, gypsy moths and other insects leave no islands of safety where wild insect pollinators can reproduce and repopulate. One such program can reduce or endanger pollinator populations for several years. Many homeowners feel that dandelions and clover are weeds, that lawns should only be grass, and that they should be highly treated with pesticides. This makes a hostile environment for bees, butterflies and other pollinators."
"Loss of habitat and forage
The push to remove hedgerows and other "unproductive" land in some farm areas removes habitat and homes for wild bees. Large tractor mounted rotary mowers may make farms and roadsides look neater, but they remove bee habitat at the same time. Old crops such as sweet clover and buckwheat,
which were very good for bees have been disappearing. Urban and suburban development pave or build over former areas of pollinator habitat. Clear cut logging, especially when mixed forests are replaced by uniform age pine planting, causes serious loss of pollinators, by removing hardwood bloom that feeds bees early in the season, and by removing hollow trees used by feral honey bees, and dead stubs used by many solitary bees."
Migratory pollinators require a continuous supply of nectar sources to gain their energy requirements for the migration. In some areas development or agriculture has disrupted and broken up these traditional corridors, and the pollinators have to find alternative routes or discontinue migration. A good example is the endangered lesser long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris curasoae) which was formerly the
main pollinator of a number of cactus species in southwestern UnitedStates. Its numbers have severely declined, in part due to disruption of the nectar corridors that it formerly followed. Other migratory
pollinators include monarch butterflies and some hummingbirds."
Bees are often viewed negatively by homeowners and other property owners. A search for "carpenter bees" on the Internet primarily yields information on removal rather than information regarding bees in a positive light. Recent hysteria regarding [Africanized bee|killer bees] has contributed to these views. Beekeepers find increased vandalism of their hives, more difficulty in finding locations for bee yards, and more people inclined to sue the local beekeeper if they are stung, even if it is by a yellow jacket.
Increasing use of outside artificial lights, which interfere with the navigational ability of many moth species, and is suspected of interference with migratory birds may also impact pollination. Moths are important pollinators of night blooming flowers and moth disorientation may reduce or eliminate the plants ability to reproduce, thus leading to long term ecological effects. This is a new field and this environmental issue needs further study."
"The structure of plant-pollinator networks
Wild pollinators often visit a large number of plant species and plants are visited by a large number of
pollinator species. All these relations together form a network of interactions between plants and pollinators. Surprising similarities were found in the structure of networks consisting out of the interactions between plants and pollinators. This structure was found to be similar in very different ecosystems on different continents, consisting of entirely different species. The structure of plant-pollinator networks may have large consequences for the way in which pollinator communities respond to increasingly harsh conditions. Mathematical models, examining the consequences of this network structure for the stability of pollinator communities suggest that the specific way in which plant-pollinator networks are organized minimizes competition between pollinators and may even lead to strong indirect facilitation between pollinators when conditions are harsh. This means that pollinator species together can survive under harsh conditions. But it also means that pollinator species collapse simultaneously when conditions pass a critical point. This simultaneous collapse occurs, because pollinator species depend on each other when surviving under difficult conditions. Such a community wide collapse involving many pollinator species can occur suddenly when increasingly harsh conditions pass a critical point and recovery from such a collapse might not be easy. The improvement in conditions needed for pollinators to recover, could be substantially larger than the improvement needed to return to conditions at which the pollinator community collapsed. "
"Conservation and restoration efforts
Efforts are being made to sustain pollinator diversity in agro and natural eco-systems by some environmental groups. Prairie restoration, establishment of wildlife preserves, and encouragement of diverse wildlife landscaping rather than mono culture lawns, are examples of ways to help pollinators."
Personally, we prefer to leave our dandelions and clovers be while also seeding wildflowers. We also have a garden for many reasons. One reason is that many of the plants like pumpkins bloom and if there were other matching plants in the area this would promote genetic diversity in our food source. Independence is another reason to have a garden. If something were to happen to the roads or even the pollinator population anywhere in the world there could be a shortage of fresh foods available from the grocery store; and finally growing as much of our own produce as we can reduces the need to support corporations that may use pollinator killing pesticides and at the very least burn fuel transporting non-exotic foods long distances to the consumer.
With so many genetically modified organisms out there someone has to preserve the natural varieties of plants because big agro corporations often patent or copyright the DNA code of their creations and this can create a complicated web of legal battles which can result in the right to grow plants being diminished. If someone is able to determine that patented / copyright protected plants are growing on your property they can try to pursue a lawsuit against you! This is particularly ridiculous because GMO species can sometimes spread their seed by wind or cross-pollination; indeed most farms in the U.S. do not have big barbed wire fences around them nor are they guarded or under surveillance 24/7 so how would you know that someone didn't trespass and put them there intentionally? (This is also one reason why flashy high-risk "terrorist attacks" are unnecessary when there are countless minimum security farms across the world. The real reason for many of such spectacles is to more fully control the people of the world.)
Sometimes the people open lawsuits against big agro because their species can be invasive and damaging but there is no doubt that when big agro wins these lawsuits the money and power becomes concentrated in the hands of the self interested few. Independent farmers who lose these lawsuits can face fines and/or imprisonment just for GROWING A PLANT!! Whether they meant any harm or not. Sound familiar? Well if through the courts in many different countries they slowly force independent farmers into poverty or obscurity they will continue to tighten their oligarchy death grip on the human trachea(figuratively speaking) forcing food prices higher and forcing dependance on the military-industrial-corporate-political system. Make no mistake the motivation for this is not about the money. Some of those who are actively serving the agenda may believe that they are doing it for their companies right to earn money but it is ultimately about control.
Growing a garden is good for the environment and it makes our future more secure and independent / free. Growing a garden can save money and might help to reduce poverty / debt (personal or those of the state) & preserve wealth (personal or state). In our neighborhood there is even a community garden so those of us that do not own land can still contribute to the goal of independence from the big agro corporations. Hopefully by growing non-GMO gardens in our town we can encourage the reproduction of these natural species helping to ensure a renewable and affordable food source for ourselves and for generations to come.
While were on the topic consider our greeting cards with a plantable embroidered attachment on them that contains wildflower seeds.
And finally, some planting instructions: You can plant them in the fall but a spring frost might kill them, and you can plant them in the summer if it's cool and not dry, but sometimes the best time to plant them is in the spring after the danger of frost passes. Pick a sunny area where the grass
naturally grows that does not have soggy soil. Next, clear your area by tilling and laying down a non-leeching/ polluting board or tarp down to kill the competition. Lift the board back up after the land is prepared and plant the attachment slightly under the surface of the soil. For more dispersal you can rip the embroidered attachment up and spread it over an area. They are wildflowers so they're not used to a lot of fertilizer. Just let them do their natural thing and don't use nasty high nitrogen stuff. Water them once and a while if they are too dry and if you choose to mow the area do it with the blade up high. Mowing in the fall can disperse seeds produced by the flowers. These seeds are not sterile so they can be able to reproduce more flowers generation after generation.