WASHINGTON, June 21, 2013 - The weekly USDA Farmers Market featured a celebration of National Pollinator Week with opportunities to learn more about pollinators and the declines they are facing.
For the fourth year, the People’s Garden Initiative hosted the Pollinator Week Festival to promote education of pollinators and their role in agriculture. Attendees were able to learn about different types of pollinators and efforts they could make in their own backyards to help pollinators. Activities included honey tasting and opportunities to see live bee colonies.
Ranging from birds and bats to bees and wasps, pollinators play a critical role in the process of growing food and are directly responsible for pollinating one in three bites of food in America. Recent struggles of pollinators, most notably bees, prompted House action to include an amendment ensuring the viability of honey bees, native pollinators, and other beneficial insects to the farm bill. Pollinator Partnership Executive Director Laurie Davies Adams said the amendment is important despite the failing of the farm bill.
“Even though the House failed to pass a farm bill today, members of the House have recognized through their precedent-setting vote on the amendment that pollinators need more help,” Adams said. “We will continue to work with concerned citizens, the Congress and the Administration to find ways to provide that assistance.”
The defeat of the House Farm Bill means the amendment is not yet made into law and will have to work its way into a new House version of the legislation.
In his support for the amendment, Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., voiced his concerns for the future of pollinators and underscored the importance of National Pollinator Week.
“Our pollinating partners are in trouble, and they need our help.” Hastings said. “It’s simple. No bees, no food.”
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