USFS: Pollinator gardens boost health of environment

What do bees, birds, bats, ants and flies have in common? They all pollinate plants. Pollinators help 80 percent of the world’s flowering plants, creating food, scenery and many of the useful materials that humans harvest from plants.

“Global decline in honey bees, bumble bees, and monarch butterflies has brought into focus the importance of pollinator conservation,” said a press release from the U.S. Forest Service. “This problem is serious and requires immediate attention to sustain our nation’s environmental health, food security, and economy … In 2014 to 2015, commerce beekeepers lost more than 40 percent of their honeybee colonies from disease and poor nutrition due to pollinating plants being replaced by suburban lawns, monoculture farmland and pesticides.”

Monoculture farming, improper grazing practices and pesticides all negatively affect bees and other pollinators’ wellbeing, said the press release.

To help, the U.S. Forest Service suggests placing pollinating plants around your yard. To find suitable plants for the Moab area, visit www.pollinator.org and enter your zip code.