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DEC Dedicates This Week to Protecting Pollinators

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This week, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is recognizing what it says is the importance of protecting pollinators. Insects like bees, butterflies, wasps, beetles, flies, and even some birds and small mammals such as bats and honey possums, who through their abilities have the important task of helping carry pollen from one part of a plant to the other which later enables the production of new seeds, fruits, and other plants.

The state agency says it wants to continue promoting the state’s pollinator population’s health and raise awareness about what New Yorkers can do to protect their vital role in nature and our economies.

Pollinators are one of the most important species in terrestrial ecosystems impacting humans and animals’ food chains. In the U.S. we have at least 100 crops that benefit directly from pollinators and 25% of all birds and mammals have their diet fulfilled from fruits and seeds derived from pollination processes.

To offer recommendations and study more about this important part of the environment, DEC has published the New York State Pollinator Protection Plan (PDF) and the 2020 Pollinator Protection Plan Update that focuses on conserving and growing the pollinator population in the State.

How can you help?

You can be involved in several small ways by choosing wisely when applying pesticides:

  • Read the label carefully before applying anything to your garden.
  • Apply chemicals at night when pollinators, especially bees, are less active.

You can also think about growing your garden to help pollinators prosper, planting certain flowers, like native species that provide nectar and pollen, or you can even work on a more ambitious project like your very own beehive in the backyard.

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