The Pollinator Partnership (P2) announced that its signature initiative, Pollinator Week, has reached new milestones in 2015.  Established in 2007, Pollinator Week has grown in scope each year with this year U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, proclaiming June 15-23 as Pollinator Week.  In an unprecedented act of vision and solidarity, all 50 state governors have proclaimed Pollinator Week in their states as a time to celebrate and protect the nation’s pollinating animals (here is a complete list of State proclamations and events).

Pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, birds and other animals bring us one in every three bites of food, protect our environment. They form the underpinnings of a healthy and sustainable future. From Boulder, CO, where four masters of the classical Japanese bamboo flute “tweeted” the premier of original honey-bee themed music to the Honolulu Zoo’s Pollinator Party to tours of underground geothermally protected honey bee hives in Maine – Americans have put their ingenuity, creativity and drive into supporting pollinator health, an issue that they are doing something about!

This year has marked a surge in interest in the health of America’s pollinators including First Lady Michelle Obama’s announcement at the White House of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, an initiative of the newly-formed National Pollinator Garden Network, 22 first class non-profits and organizations representing gardens, pollinators, and plant nurseries.  Pollinator Week celebrates a new dawn of wise land management across the country, spearheaded by the May release of the first-ever Federal Strategy for the Health of Honey Bees and other Pollinators.

Pollinator Week showcases the brand new pollinator poster of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC), Carnivorous Plants of North America and their Pollinators.  This 2015 poster marks the debut of pollinator artist Teri Nye, a self-taught artist, illustrator and photographer specializing in recording nature.

Efforts during Pollinator Week, and year-round, are working to reverse and prevent pollinator declines caused by loss of habitat, disease, pesticides, parasites and other interconnected assaults on pollinator populations. Laurie Davies Adams, Executive Director of the Pollinator Partnership, said, “It’s appropriate to see the highest levels of government as well as grassroots actions by individuals and communities taking action for pollinators.  There are over 130 events taking place around the world for Pollinator Week 2015 – We applaud everyone participating. It’s a great starting point for actions, large and small, that support the future of our pollinators, our food supply, and our environment.”

The Highways BEE Act was introduced in the Congress during the run up to Pollinator Week by the joint leadership of Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) and Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA), co-chairs of the Congressional Pollinator Protection Caucus (CP2C). Over 250 national, regional, and local organizations and 2,500 American scientists and individuals from all walks of life across the nation have already signed a petition in support of this approach.