Jun 19, 2023Syngenta: Celebrating the essential role of pollinators
Throughout the summer, many of us love to snack on fresh blueberries and cherries or munch on almonds and juicy tomatoes. These refreshing foods are reliant on and benefitted by insect pollination.
Although honeybees are often the first species that people associate with the term “pollinator,” we recognize that they aren’t the only tiny heroes pollinating our food and flowers. From geckos and birds to lizards and butterflies, there are over 200,000 invertebrate species, and around 2,000 vertebrate species, serving as global pollinators. National Pollinator Week (June 19-25) is one of the many ways that we as an industry can raise awareness about the importance of pollinators and the critical role they play in our food supply.
Biodiversity is essential for effective crop production and the health of our natural resources, sustaining the ecosystems that lay the groundwork for fertile soils and plant pollination.
Diversifying agricultural landscapes through sustainable practices like developing multifunctional field margins promotes essential habitats that give not only our precious pollinators the dedicated space to do what they do best — pollinate — but also provides nesting and food resources. Scientists believe that for every three acres of marginal land planted benefiting pollinators, 100 subsequent acres experience a significant positive impact.
More than 20 years ago, Syngenta started Operation Pollinator, a global initiative across 30 countries aimed at helping farmers and land managers create wildflower havens for bees and other pollinators to thrive. It’s not only about land beautification, but restoring essential habitats for beneficial insects, small mammals and birds, leading to a more diverse ecosystem. These wildflower patches aid in reducing soil erosion and protecting valuable water resources from soil and nutrient pollution.
Studies show that creating plant gardens with a diverse range of wildflowers can have a big impact on the health of pollinators. We can all do our part to protect pollinators and other beneficial insects. Establish window boxes full of plants and wildflowers native to your region that bloom throughout the year, offer a water dish to give thirsty pollinators a place to drink, resist taking dead leaves or plant material that can provide shelter for pollinators in the winter or support local initiatives that plant wildflowers in roadside areas or parks.
Projects that provide pollinators with these habitats give them greater access to diverse pollen throughout the year and increase their resistance to disease and other stressors.
— Caydee Savinelli, stewardship team and pollinator lead at Syngenta