My daily commute to class feels pleasantly different than the usual. The sun shines brighter than I’ve seen it in awhile and my skin welcomes the warmer temperatures. I hear birds chirp cheerfully and squirrels playfully scale budding trees. Flower stems break through the dirt, ready to reveal their alluring colors. Winter is (hopefully) over and springtime is gracing us with her beauty, which means new growth and a return of old friends: the pollinators.
Pollinators are vitally important creatures for every ecosystem. When traveling between plants, these animals carry pollen on their bodies that fertilizes other flowering plants. This process leads to the development of seeds and fruits; a crucial step for the next generation of flowers or trees. Both parties benefit: from nutritional nectar for the pollinators to reproduction for the plants. I immediately think of bees and hummingbirds as the most well-known pollinators, but others include butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, and bats (this one surprised me).
My friends think I’m crazy for obsessing over these hard-working animals. In my opinion, everyone should pay attention to pollinators as they provide the foods that we enjoy. Without honey bees alone, we wouldn’t have almonds, cherries, or pears. Unfortunately, climate change and misuse of chemicals are negatively impacting populations of pollinators. This fact should motivate us to become mindful of the decisions we make, especially ones that may jeopardize these creatures. Consider planting flowers that attract bees and butterflies or encourage the creation of green spaces in your community. Buy locally produced foods and honey to support farmers and beekeepers. Or simply appreciate the pollinators that truly make the world go round.
Information found on https://pollinator.org/.