Healthy "U" June Newsletter
GOT COLOR IN YOUR DIET? THANK A POLLINATOR (NOT A COW)!
by April M. Boulton, Ph.D, Biology Department
Since the summer weather is finally starting to heat up and more and more of our buzzing friends are appearing in our yards/gardens, this article will highlight the importance of native, pollinating insects. It's (hopefully) the perfect "piggy back" article on Hans Wagner's gardening piece from last month's newsletter.
Did you know that June hosts National Pollinator Week? No? Well, if you value the colorful parts of your diet, make a note now and read on for ways to entice native pollinators to your garden and/or to your neighbor's garden and/or to your local farmer's land and/or...see my point yet? Well, how about a few supporting visuals:
I know, I know--a few of my colleagues on campus are rolling their eyes, thinking "here goes the bug lady, again!" Well, consider the following facts:
* Insects (mainly bees) pollinate one or more of >60% of the world's 1,500 crop species
* These pollinators are directly or indirectly essential for an estimated 15-30% of food production
* The value of crop pollination by the "honeybee" is estimated to be $5-14 billion in the US alone
* Native, wild bees are estimated to be responsible for $3.07 billion in pollination to agricultural
That last point is one I'd like to emphasize because there are not a lot of homeowners willing to bring an active bee box into their backyard filled with stinging friends! However, native, wild bees are prolific in the U.S. (yes, even Frederick). Not only are most native bees the "non-stinging" variety, they often out-perform those well-known, commercial honeybees on pollinator services (think: delicious squash and melons).
So, how can you be a part of National Pollinator Week and welcome these native, wild insects into your garden? The number one, most important thing to do is plant many native, flowering plants and bushes on your property, preferably with staggered flowering times so that there are always nectar resources for these buzzy friends.
Feeling really inspired? Check out the attached information on how to build (cheap) homes for these native pollinators. You can also visit these two sites for native plants and other ideas to entice wild pollinators to your garden: xerces.org and mdflora.org.
Mindfulness Meditation and Yoga - Returning in the Fall
Look for the new schedule for these events in the fall semester.
Hood Walking Group
- Still Walking on Tuesdays
Hood's walking group leaves at noon from the plaza between Alumnae Hall and Hodson, the
group walks for approximately 30 minutes rain or shine.