New Jersey Conservation Foundation
New Jersey Conservation Foundation Menu
NJCF Homepage Contact Us Donate Events Search NJCF
New Jersey Land Conservation Organization
Donate to New Jersey Conservation Foundation
State We're In New Jersey Conservation Foundation Blog
Celebrate and take action during National Pollinator Week
6/2/2016 Volume XLIX, No. 21

You may have heard the expression: No farmers, No food. How about: No bees, No food?

Bees, butterflies, wasps, beetles and many other native insects are essential for food production. Without pollen distribution and cross-fertilization by pollinators, much of our food supply would vanish.

The week of June 20-26 has been designated National Pollinator Week by the U.S Department of Agriculture and Department of the Interior. It’s a time to celebrate pollinators, and take steps to ensure their survival.

What do pollinators do? They cross-pollinate, transferring pollen from the male anthers of a flower to the female stigma of a flower on a different individual plant of the same species.

For some plants - such as conifers, oak trees, allergy-causing weeds like ragweed, and grasses, including corn - the wind is sufficient to propel pollen grains between plants and ensure pollination. But most plants grown for their fruits, seeds, nuts and fiber require insect pollination, as do many native flowering plants.

Pollen grains stick to the legs, wings and bodies of insect pollinators and are brushed onto other flowers as insects make their rounds. This results in fertilization within plant ovaries and the production of seeds. Without fertilization, seeds and the delicious fruits that encase them – everything from apples to tomatoes to watermelon - will not form.

While honeybees are the best-known pollinators, they’re not native … they’re transplants from Europe. But this state we’re in has many native pollinators that not only help farmers grow crops but also keep our natural ecosystems in balance.

In New Jersey, native pollinators include bumblebees, carpenter bees, leafcutter bees, sweat bees and squash bees, as well as wasps. Many of our colorful butterflies are pollinators, including monarchs, tiger swallowtails, painted ladies, fiery skippers, orange sulfurs, common buckeyes and our newly-designated state butterfly, the black swallowtail.

Dozens of moths – including underwings, owlet, geometer, sphinx and hummingbird moths - are pollinators. Ruby-throated hummingbirds carry pollen from flower to flower, the only New Jersey bird pollinator. Hundreds of species of beetles and flies also pollinate our flowers and plants.

What can you do to help our native pollinators?

First, feed them by adding native plants to your yard and garden. The bees that buzz from flower to flower to collect protein-rich pollen burn a lot of energy. Native plants provide sweet nectar and will attract bees and other pollinators, providing them with lots of energy. 

Garden State native plants that are good at attracting pollinators include beebalm, butterfly weed, blueberry, blue wild indigo, cardinal flower, mountain mint, ironweed, milkweed, coneflower, black-eyed Susan, Joe Pye weed, New England aster, blazing star, Echinacea, phlox, golden ragwort, sumac, sweet pepper-bush and viburnum.

Second, avoid chemical pesticides. Bee communities, both wild and domestic, have experienced severe declines recently as pesticide use increased. Especially harmful to pollinators are a group of pest-control chemicals called neonicotinoids, or neonics for short.

Some chemical manufactures like Ortho are voluntarily dropping neonics. The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently assessing the impact of neonics on bees.

But don’t wait for the results of the EPA study; celebrate National Pollinator Week by planting native plants and keeping your yard and garden chemical-free. Our native pollinators will thank you for it … and so will gardeners, farmers and consumers.

For more information on pollinators, go to the Pollinator Week website at To learn which products contain neonicotinoids visit

And to learn more about preserving New Jersey’s land and natural resources, go to the New Jersey Conservation Foundation website at or contact me at



Vernal pools: Now you see 'em, now you don't

State targets illegal dumpers in parks and forests

Former governors and elected leaders stand up for environment

Join CSAs to support local farms, save money, eat better

Weather extremes may be New Jersey's new normal

Bald eagles and ospreys rebound in New Jersey

Pine Barrens prescribed fires: A renewal force

Take a walk on the bottom of the sea!

Energy efficiency saves money and land - and creates jobs!

The Pines of March

Trees are more social than you think!

New Jersey's geological 'layer cake'

Keeping the 'great' in Paterson's Great Falls

Some good news!

Take action to defend and protect land and water

Interested in ecology? Become a Rutgers Environmental Steward

2016 wins and losses for New Jersey's land and water

Kick off a healthy New Year with First Day hike

Energy infrastructure: the new sprawl

Two great books for connecting kids with nature

Why do some trees stay green while others lose their leaves?

Melting ice, rising seas, hotter planet

Our forests never sleep, even in winter!

Documentary brings Great Swamp battle back to life

Defending the land they loved

Four years after Sandy, rising sea levels predicted

New Jersey: Small state, big diversity

10 great natural areas for enjoying fall colors

Removing obsolete dams brings rivers back to life

Humpback whales a welcome sight off NJ coast

NJ wine industry boosts agritourism

For good health, bathe in a forest!

Let's NOT make a deal!

New Jersey's spectacular waterfalls

Urban trees boost health and land values

Blue Acres: A win-win for open space, owners of flooded homes

Get mosquitos to buzz off - naturally!

Flawed pipeline approval process needs reforms

Speak out for our Atlantic Ocean and coast!

Help Pokemon Go lead into outdoors and nature

NJ 4th in peaches; don't miss out on peach season!

Water, water everywhere - keep it safe to drink!

Growing beer in the Garden State

Celebrate NJ's Revolutionary War parks and open spaces on July 4

Override Governor's veto of open space bill

Taming the wild blueberry 100 years ago

Celebrate and take action during National Pollinator Week

Get on the Circuit for National Trails Day

New tax deduction would give boost to NJ non-profits

Best nature movies


April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011


New Jersey Conservation Foundation on FacebookNew Jersey Conservation Foundation on TwitterNew Jersey Conservation Foundation on FlickrNew Jersey Conservation Foundation YouTube ChannelShare      
New Jersey Conservation Foundation           Bamboo Brook, 170 Longview Road, Far Hills, NJ 07931           908-234-1225 
home  | nj statewide eventscontact us  |  sitemap  |  privacy policy  |  DONATE