‘But you do know that there are more pollinators, don’t you? There are not only bees…’
‘Of course, yes!’ me, answering Basti super promptly
Then my little hamster started to run on the wheel of the ‘no wait…who are exactly the other pollinators?’
Are they all so much in danger like bees? And if yes, what it has been doing so far for pollinators? Can I do something me too? Ok, breath in and breath out…and keep on reading!
Ah so…there are more pollinators?
From the little hamster mentioned above this post was born. In our very first article https://www.gaeblini.com/en/2021/03/21/why-are-bees-so-important/ , we have spoken of bees and their big importance for their being pollinators. Nevertheless, there are more, did you know? Now close your eyes and list them mentally – have a try! Then you’ll see if you guessed them all.
Not only bees…other pollinators?
Oh yes, our friend bees are for sure one of the most popular as a pollinator ambassador, but they are not the only ones.
To keep them company: moths, butterflies, ants, wasps, mosquitos (but only males, while the female ones are the blood-gourmand), bumblebees, beetles and hoverflies. However, there is also someone outside the insect group, such as bats, hummingbirds and lemurs (you know, Madagascar?). In my researches I have found also a special species of gecko that lives in Asia. In some tropical areas there are some little birds that eat mainly nectar. While in south America we can find a special kind of mouse as well, super greedy not for cheese but for mushrooms. While searching for food this serial-mushrooms-eater spreads unconsciously pollen around.
Here they are, some of the Biodiversity Avengers! Hence, not only insects, but also much variety. All helpers of nature and its balance, without realising it. All unfortunately more and more threatened by pollution, climate changes, pesticides and lack of natural habitat.
Is someone doing anything for pollinators?
So…we have told that they are essential otherwise much of our food would disappear. We have told that they are a great team. But we have also told that they are in great danger for the reasons above mentioned.
At this point, I wondered (with a bit of anxiety too, I admit it!) – but is anybody doing anything??
I have looked it up on internet and in my opinion the fact that I’ve struggled to find something practical is very meaninful. Both United Nations and European Union are generally conscious that a serious awareness of the problem is missing. In other words, people must get it, but seriously! It’s also true that the very same institutions have started to focus (at last) on these topics only recently. So, we are all in the same boat in the end.
I ask again: is anybody doing anything?!
After this general mea culpa, yes! Someone is doing something. For example, the FAO’s Global Action on Pollination Services for Sustainable Agriculture is taking care of the GPP (Global Pollination Project, you can find more at this link http://www.fao.org/pollination/projects/conservation-and-management-of-pollination-for-sustainable-agriculture/en/ ). Through this last one FAO is putting into practice different projects all over the world to sensitise local people about pollinators, sustainable agriculture and ecosystem respect. With regard to the European Union, the core of the Green deal (2019-2024) is the environment (that’s why this name, ‘green‘). Among the essential points: the biodiversity restore and the fight against pollution. Not so many years ago, moreover, EU has collected in a book several ventures by some European countries to protect and help pollinators.
Any example about how some EU countries have tried to help pollinators?
- In Austria administrations have encouraged the creation and maintenance of borders of streets and fields full of flowers. They organise Pollinators identification courses. In addition, in many areas, along sidewalks there are bee-learning signposts.
- In Belgium since 2015 the environment, agriculture & energy government department has organised the ‘Bee week’. Its aim? Increasing the awareness regarding the problems faced by bees and more in general the environment. Not only: inspiring the creation of more various and richer environments for pollinators, encouraging practices and a mindset change towards them. Moreover, they organise a competition in cooperation with who takes care of the public green areas so as to reward the most bee-friendly town. Always in Belgium in April 2015, a campaign towards private gardens decided to give away 1000 wild-bees-hotels thanks to the collaboration with the most popular existing Flemish newspaper.
- In Ireland since 1958 there is a yearly competition called Tidy towns. Its objective is to give some little but wonderful Irish towns the possibility of standing out. In 2016 – 2017 this initiative has encouraged practices for protecting pollinators in many towns and villages, till rewarding the best ones (more than 70!). In 2017 they also started a project consisting the exploration of pollinators through art, including music, by recording the sounds of some Irish pollinators.
- In Spain The Science Institute (CSIC) of Madrid in collaboration with the Royal botanical gardens and the Spanish Fundation for Science & Technology have implemented an educational project concerning pollinators. Students had to monitor pollinators in the green areas of Madrid and publish the results on a scientific online platform (Natusfera). From this project an APP was born (PolinizAPP). This is a playful way to raise awareness about the pollinator process importance and the dangers that pollinators are facing.
These are only some examples, the PDF collecting the different projects has 60 pages! It is at the bottom of the post, should you be interested in it.
Copy, without restraint 🙂
All these projects have in common the cooperation among more stakeholders. In such a period that we have been living, where due to force majeure we have to keep physical distance from each other, in my opinion it’s wonderful to find a good common ground. A common ground which all together we can beat our brains for and from where to decide to do something in our small. This would go beyond any safety distance or restriction, wouldn’t it? In the end, it’s a common ground that is essential for everybody because our future depends on it (and the future of our future as well).
What do you think about these projects? In your territory as well has anything like this being implemented? We are very curious to know more about it! Let us know here below with a comment and if you think it was interesting, share it 🙂 Help us to inspire!
* Here it is the PDF with what some EU countries have carried out for supporting pollinators: https://ieep.eu/uploads/articles/attachments/8bb89903-ec3d-4a87-b968-66c8c081c8ed/ieep_2017_pollinator_initiatives_in_eu_member_states.pdf?v=63690757751
Underwood, E., Darwin, G. and Gerritsen, E. (2017) Pollinator initiatives in EU Member States: Success factors and gaps. Report for European Commission under contract for provision of technical support related to Target 2 of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 – maintaining and restoring ecosystems and their services ENV.B.2/SER/2016/0018. Institute for European Environmental Policy, Brussels