Love pollinators this summer
This summer Natural Resources Wales is asking people to join its campaign to help conserve pollinators.
Pollinators are insects that fertilise plants. And they are invaluable to society.
Every third mouthful of food we eat has been created by pollination. We need pollinators to grow food such as apples, pears, avocados, cabbages, mangoes, Brazil nuts, strawberries … and chocolate!
The value of pollination to agriculture in the UK is estimated at £690 million.
If we were to pollinate crops by hand it would cost £1.8 billion.
Worldwide, the honeybee population alone is estimated to be worth £30 billion. Globally pollination services from all pollinators have an economic value of approximately £120 billion.
Pollinators are good for tourism and our wellbeing as well. They provide colour for wild places, making the countryside a much nicer place to visit.
This is also true for towns and cities. Most of the plants and flowers that are the lifeblood of our parks and gardens depend on pollinators.
But our pollinators are disappearing. In the UK three species of bumblebee are already extinct. Whilst half of the remaining 24 bumblebee species are in decline.
And two-thirds of our moths and 71per cent of our butterflies are in long term decline.
There are several reasons for this.
Climate change and the unpredictable or extreme nature of the weather harms their lifecycle and breeding patterns.
Pesticides – that kill ‘pests’ but also harm pollinators.
Modern agricultural practices that remove hay meadows and flower-rich habitats for a more intensive method of farming
Working with the Welsh Government Action Plan for Pollinators Task Force, the NRW campaign aims to show people how they can help.
The website www.naturalresources.wales contains lots of helpful tips and advice on how people can get involved and do their bit.
NRW is also asking people to send photos of pollinators from their gardens, allotments, park or any wild space on instagram, facebook and twitter using #pollinatorpaparazzi.