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CONSERVE OKALOOSA COUNTY, FLA.: Farmers, Homeowners Can Help Pollinators Prosper

Conservation in your community

Darryl W photo

By Darryl Williams
district conservationist

Williams is a district conservationist with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. He works in the agency’s Crestview, Fla. office.

Pollinator Photo 1
 

DID YOU KNOW?

  •  A world without pollinators would be a world without apples, blueberries, coffee, chocolate, almonds, melons, peaches or pumpkins.
  • Pollinators include bees, butterflies, moths, birds, bats and beetles.
  • North America is home to more than 4,000 species of native bees.
  • Hummingbirds are the most common avian pollinators in the U.S.; these tiny wonders prefer tubular flowers in bright, warm colors.
  • Learn more about Pollinators.

More than three-fourths of the world’s flowering plants rely on the help of pollinators to reproduce.

One out of three bites of food can be attributed to these important creatures – such as bees, butterflies, moths, birds, beetles, bats, and a few other small mammals.

But as you may know, pollinators are in trouble. Many are seeing decreasing populations because of habitat loss, disease, parasites and pesticide use.

Pollinators provide crucial assistance to fruit, vegetable and seed crops as well as other plants that produce fiber, medicine and fuel. For many plants, without the help of pollinators, they would be unable to reproduce.

The honey bee and its pollinator allies are responsible for pollinating billions of dollars’ worth of American crops each year. Pollinators visit flowers in search of food (nectar or pollen). During the visit, a pollinator may inadvertently brush against a flower’s reproductive parts, depositing pollen from a different flower. This fertilized flower may then produce fruit or seeds.

While many pollinators are in trouble, you can help. It can be as easy as selecting high-quality pollinator plants for your garden. To find the best plants for your area, visit the websites of NRCS partners at the Xerces Society Pollinator Conservation Program or Pollinator Partnership.