Pollinator Week highlights need to preserve habitats

 Habitats for pollinators are disappearing around Nebraska and Pollinator Week is raising awareness of their importance. (KSNB)
Habitats for pollinators are disappearing around Nebraska and Pollinator Week is raising awareness of their importance. (KSNB) (KSNB)
Published: Jun. 23, 2020 at 6:34 PM CDT
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With plants in bloom now, people may see some bugs buzzing around. This week nebraska is recognizing the importance of those buzzing bugs and raising awareness of pollinators losing their habitats with Pollinator Week.

Bees are not the only pollinators who need help. Beetles, butterflies, and many more creepy crawlies play a big role in how things grow. Central Community College is doing their part to educate people on the issue.

Pollinator week in Nebraska is held to show that bees, ants, butterflies, and other pollinators are losing their habitats and dying out.

“Overall there has been a decline in pollinators because they've lost a lot of habitat which is why we're bringing back some habitat for those pollinator species that were lost to commodity agriculture,” Environmental Sustainability Director Ben Newton said.

Large portions of land used for farming or lawns were once untouched prairie. Now CCC is encouraging people to plant pollinator gardens in their yards or at the edges of their fields to bring those habitats back. It may look like a bunch of weeds, but they are critical shelter and food for pollinators who in turn help pollinate food.

“Over 90% of all flowering plants need pollinators to survive and almost half of our food that we eat also requires pollinators,” Newton said.

The Nebraska Statewide Arboretum has details on native plants for the entire state. People can even order seeds to start a garden in the middle of a city. CCC has a number of their own gardens in Grand Island, Columbus, and recently Hastings. People can ask to tour them and learn more of what pollinators are attracted to each plant. They say if we continue to see these declines it could mean trouble for plant life.

“For other areas of the country, they bring in pollinators species and they pay for somebody to do that when pollinators are doing that for free,” Newton said.

CCC encourages farmers not to use pesticides on their ditches or the edges of their fields so the pollinators can benefit from the plants growing there. They hope with more attention on their habitats, pollinators can make a comeback in Nebraska.

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