Friday, May 6, 2011

Remember the Pollinators this Plant Sale Season

Tomorrow (Saturday, May 7th) both the London Grove Friends Meeting and the Brandywine River Museum plant sales are taking place. While you are out shopping for new additions to your garden, I encourage you to consider the pollinators-the insects that are so crucial to our survival. Nearly 75% of the flowering plants on Earth rely on pollinators to set seed or fruit, as well as one-third of our food crops. Most pollination is performed by honey bees, native bees and other insects. In a recent installment of the Johnny's Seed blog, the seed company highlights the importance of pollinators and provides a link to the Xerces Society of Invertebrate Conservation, an organization dedicated to protecting this essential group of animals. The good news is that simply choosing the right types of plants for your backyard can have a major positive effect on our dwindling pollinator populations. University of Delaware professor Doug Tallamy's book Bringing Nature Home is about just this fact. Something to think about when your are making your plant sale decisions.

Saturday is also the opening of the Phoenixville Farmers Market, and they are celebrating the start of another market season with an event honoring our most culturally important pollinator-the Honey Bee. Their Honey Bee Festival includes a lecture from Biodynamic beekeeping expert Gunther Hauk and a screening of the magical documentary Queen of the Sun, all about the honey bee. Honey bees are in bad shape, the mysterious colony collapse disorder is wreaking havoc on bee populations across the earth. We need the bees for our own survival. Click here for a list of 10 simple things you can do to help save the bees.

"The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams." -- Henry David Thoreau

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