The Pollinators’ Oasis
April 19, 2020
by Aaron Pflug • Kidzeum Staff
Throughout the past week, pollination – and, specifically, pollinators – have been a theme. Unfortunately, most of the pollinators we covered have something in common: their existence is threatened. Most of the threats come from a loss of habitat due to agriculture, commercial/industrial pursuits, or other environmental changes. Regardless of the reason, any loss of biodiversity exposes the given area to unknown, and potentially disastrous for us, ecological consequences.
With almost eight billion people on the planet, we need a lot of food; and that means we need a lot of land to produce it. But we must find ways of promoting the native species in at-risk areas to protect our food supply against the potential negative effects of a reduction in biodiversity!
One innovation that has increased in popularity over the past several years is the cultivating of pollinator strips. Essentially, farmers designate strips of land surrounding or adjacent to their fields to be planted with flowers and other plants favored by local pollinators. These strips act as an oasis for pollinators and have been shown to increase the number and activity levels of pollinators in a given area. And, sometimes, they have other benefits for farmers: like this farmer who used pollinator strips to attract insects who saw an invasive species as prey!
Of course, pollinator strips are not the be-all-end-all of ending the threats against pollinators, but they are a positive, easily implemented step requiring a minimum of investment. In fact, they are so straightforward, you and your family can cultivate a pollinator strip or pocket right in your back yard! Previously, we gave you a bit of information about starting a pollinator garden, so definitely check those resources out. And here are some fantastic resources for getting started, as well!
While there may be no single answer to this complicated question, no silver bullet to right all the wrongs, there is something simple to do that will have an effect! So, thank the food producers in your area who have put in pollinator strips and get to work building your own pollinator oasis! Every little bit helps!
Just think: when the work is done, the flowers have bloomed, and the pollinators are daily visitors, you’ll have a beautiful and beneficial slice of nature right outside your door!