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It Is Pollinator Week, How We Can Help These Free Workers?

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
It Is Pollinator Week, How We Can Help These Free Workers?

This week is National Pollinator Week.

Putnam County Ag Extension’s Nathan Herd works with bees at UT Martin. Herd said bees, butterflies, and other pollinators work for us in the food chain.

“They provide what we call ecosystem services, and that’s a free service performed by organisms in the natural environment that positively affect human health and well-being,” Herd said. “And in this case it relates to food production and nutrient cycles.”

Herd said growth and expansion in the Upper Cumberland which has been so good for our economy does not look so good for our pollinators. Herd said this means bees and other pollinators have less places to live and be healthy and do that they do for us, pollinating our native plants and food production crops.

“We have issues with habitat loss and pesticide mismanagement,” Herd said. “We as humans are affecting a lot of different things. And we’re having negative effects in many cases especially in the natural environment, especially our pollinators.”

Herd said pollinators are weakened by the stressors humans place on their environment. He said as a result they are less able to defend themselves against natural pests such as viruses and bacteria.

“They’re declining everywhere,” Herd said. “All species of pollinators.”

Herd said you can help pollinators by limiting the use of insecticides and using bee friendly products when possible. He said you can check the label or reach out to your local UT Extension Office for help with that.

“You can also spray late in the evening or early in the morning when pollinators are less likely to be out,” Herd said.

Herd said if you are interested in adding to your landscaping, you can add a refuge area.

“You can plant buffer areas or allow buffer zones along the edges of fields and lawns,” Herd said. “Incorporate native plants and species. And these are great because they give pollinators a place to go when you’re spraying or mowing.”


The post It Is Pollinator Week, How We Can Help These Free Workers? appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.