Monarch butterflies feeding from wildflowers
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Butterfly, fly away. Pollinator Week
It's lunch time for these beautiful monarch butterflies, which like to feed on clusters of colorful wildflowers. While they dine out on nectar, they get a light dusting of pollen, which is then spread to other flowers they land on. This process is pollination, transferring pollen from the male part of a flower to the female part, and is crucial for growing many of our fruits and vegetables. It improves the quality and quantity of crops and increases harvest yields. Nearly $20 billion of goods are produced in the US alone each year, because of pollination.
Pollinators are a critical part of food systems and ecosystems, but their numbers have declined due to various threats including loss of habitats, pesticides, and climate change. Pollinator Week, held in June each year, aims to raise awareness of pollinators and what we can do to protect them. You can mark the week by avoiding using pesticides and creating a pollinator-friendly habitat for butterflies, bees, and other pollinators, helping them continue to play their essential role in plant reproduction.