Pollinator species populations, such as the vital Honey Bee, are declining at alarming rates.
Why you should care:
- Pollinators are vital to agriculture. Nearly all fruit, vegetable, and seed crops used to produce fuel, medicine, and food require animal pollinators (such as birds, bees, and butterflies.)
- Intensification of agriculture, pollinator habitat fragmentation and habitat loss are all factors which have negatively impacted native pollinator populations.
- If populations continue to decline, crop production could decline with it - causing a spike in food prices.
- 10% of Rhode Island's total land acreage is devoted to Agriculture.
- Rhode Island is a leader in direct sales of produce from farms to consumers.
- Agriculture (including livestock, dairy, aquaculture, nursery and greenhouse stock, vegetables, and sod production) contributes significantly to Rhode Island's economy.
What you can do:
- Plant species that provide food and habitat for pollinators. For further general information visit: http://conbio.org/images/content_publications/RIPollinatorsandAgriculture.pdf For a list of plant species and guide for the northeast check out: http://www.xerces.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/NortheastPlantList_web.pdf
- Become a beekeeper! Check out the Rhode Island Beekeepers Association (RIBA) website: http://ribeekeeper.org/
- Help Educate your friends and family - spread the word about pollinator loss and why it matters.
The Heinz Center. 2013. Rhode Island Pollinators and Agriculture. Washington, DC, 46 pp