These insects are responsible for bringing us every 1 in 3 foods
This week I wanted to talk about something every one of us relies on for food, pollinators! Not just bees - although they are the superstars in the pollinator world, but birds, bats (there are many many bats around the farm) butterflies, beetles and tonnes of other small mammals that contribute to pollinating plants. Did you know that these insects are responsible for bringing us every 1 in 3 foods? They also sustain our ecosystems and produce our natural resources by helping plants reproduce.
What does a pollinator do?
The animals or insects travel from plant to plant carrying pollen on their bodies in a vital interaction that allows the transfer of genetic material critical to the reproductive system of most flowering plants.
Is that important?
Massively! These plants provide countless fruit and vegetables (hello there veg box) including nuts, they also make 1/2 of the worlds oils, fibres and raw materials, prevent soil erosion and increase carbon sequestration (capturing and storing carbon dioxide). 75-95% of all flowering plants on earth depend on pollinators. Meaning every 1 in 3 bites of food you eat, wouldn’t be there if you didn’t have pollinators. In terms of money, these animals bring 217 billion US dollars to the global economy.
The future is bleak.
Many pollinator populations are in decline, and mainly due to lack of food and nesting habitats. Also affected by pollution, chemicals, disease and climate change,
What can we do?
It’s important to make these changes now, to encourage conservation techniques within families, works and local governments. Things you can do include:
Create habitat areas in your garden or balcony
This could include not mowing natural flowers, portioning off safe areas, or planting in pots in balconies. Research shows pollinators aren’t phased by cities, they just need plots and patches of flowers. (Fun fact, when I used to work in London, just off of Carnaby Street, our offices had bee hives on the roof and were tended by the office made bee keeping society! You could encourage something similar in your offices!)
Plant the right plants.
Lots of seeds now advertise ‘bee friendly’ or ‘likes pollinators’ opt for those plants and make your outside space beautiful!
Support one another.
Spread the word about the importance of pollinators, support local farmers or beekeepers who can support animals at a much larger scale, donate to pollination researchers or conservation charities.
But most importantly, love the insects and appreciate them.