(Beyond Pesticides, June 14, 2016) To celebrate National Pollinator Week, June 20-26, 2016, several Washington, DC restaurants have teamed up with Beyond Pesticides and the Center for Food Safety to launch a campaign, “Made by Pollinators,” to protect pollinators suffering steep declines. With one out of every three bites of food reliant on bees, the participating restaurants’ patrons will be treated to a special menu featuring pollinator-friendly food and provided with information on what they can do to help pollinators. The restaurants hope to increase public awareness on the importance of pollinators and steps that can be taken to reverse the decline. Participating restaurants include Busboys and Poets, Founding Farmers, Lavagna, the Tabard Inn and Restaurant Nora.
Of the 100 crop varieties that provide 90% of the world’s food, 71 are pollinated by bees. Honey bees alone pollinate 95 kinds of fruits, nuts and vegetables, such as apples, avocados, almonds, and cranberries. The value of pollination services to U.S. agriculture alone amounts to nearly $30 billion and about 80% of flowering plants require animal pollination.
A recent government survey reports that U.S. beekeepers lost 44 percent of their colonies between spring 2015 and 2016 —the second highest loss to date. Numerous studies find that commonly used pesticides — both agricultural and residential pesticides— are a major contributing factor in pollinator declines.
Busboys and Poets said, “Without bees, we wouldn’t be able to serve 99% of our menu. Our participation in Pollinator Week is a small step toward a movement to promote the health of our planet’s ecosystems.”
Nora Pouillon, owner and founder of Restaurant Nora, said, “Bees are the most important thing for sustainable food growth, which is one of the reasons I source 100% organic food, free of pesticides that may cause pollinators harm. . . My business partner takes it one step further and raises bees.” Restaurant Nora is America’s first certified organic restaurant, committed to serving environmentally conscious cuisine for nearly 40 years.
The Tabard Inn said, “We believe it is important for us and our future generations to protect our environment and encourage smart use of our resources . . . By collaborating with local organic farmers, national organizations, and specialized purveyors, we aim to better the quality of our products, and ultimately everyone’s health. We strive to use pesticide-free, environmentally-responsible products.”
Jay Feldman, Executive Director of Beyond Pesticides said, “We deeply appreciate the leadership of these restaurants in protecting bees by sourcing organic and sustainable food, while educating their patrons on the importance of bees in our food system and what they can do to protect pollinators.”
National Pollinator Week began ten years ago when the U.S. Senate unanimously approved the designation to protect pollinator populations. It has since grown to be an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and all other pollinator species.
#BuildtheBuzz for Pollinator Week with Additional Events
In addition to the “Made by Pollinators” Campaign, here are some things you can do in your community for pollinator week. Here’s what you can do:
1) Organize a Meeting in Your Community. Utilize a public space, such as your local library or community center, have a house party, or host a pollinator-friendly dinner and view the talk Pollinators, Biodiversity and Scientific Integrity, by Jonathan Lundgren, Ph.D. from Beyond Pesticides’ 34th National Pesticide Forum. This is a perfect opportunity to have a discussion with your friends and neighbors about the serious issue of pollinator decline and what you can do.
About the video: Dr. Lundgren is an agroecologist, director of ECDYSIS Foundation, and CEO for Blue Dasher Farm. He is formerly a top U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologist, and is the recipient of a prestigious national award for civic courage for his work on neonicotinoids and pollinator decline in the face of agency attempts to suppress his work. One of his priorities is to make science applicable to end-users, and he regularly interacts with the public and farmers regarding pest management and insect biology.
2) Make Change Happen in Your Community. Armed with allies and resources from your video screening party, go to your elected official and ask them to introduce the Model Pollinator Resolution and/or our Model Lawns and Landscapes policy.
>>For more information, or help with your campaign, see our fact sheet, How to Start Your Own Local Movement, see our BEE Protective webpage, or get in touch with us. Build the buzz in your community to make changes that will protect your local pollinator population!
3) Join the Keep the Hives Alive Tour!
As part of nationwide efforts to raise awareness about the decline of honey bees and other pollinators, the Keep the Hives Alive tour will travel the country urging Congress, EPA, and USDA to take real action to protect these critical species from toxic pesticides. The tour is organized by beekeepers, farmers, farmworkers, scientists and advocates and will stop in South Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Washington, DC before and during National Pollinator Week, June 13-23. Beekeepers will drive a bee truck between each stop, with a display of dead bees to demonstrate one beekeepers loss.
Please participate if you are located near any of the stops on the tour!
Use the Facebook event pages to get more involved:
o Estellinne, South Dakota: Blue Dasher Farms, kicked off yesterday, June 13th.
o Montevideo, Minnesota: Moonstone Farms, June 14th
o Ypsilanti, Michigan: Recreation Park, June 16th
o Detroit, Michigan: D-Town Farm, June 16th
o Lewisburg, Pennsylvania: Hackenburg Apiaries, June 18th
o Research Triangle Park, North Carolina: Bayer Headquarters, June 20th
o Washington, DC: EPA Headquarters, June 22nd.
We hope you’ll be able to attend one of these critical grassroots events before and during Pollinator Week!
For more information on what you can do to protect pollinators, see www.beeprotective.org.
All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.