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National Pollinator Week is a time to celebrate pollinators and spread the word about what you can do to protect them.
Thirteen years ago the U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval and designation of a week in June as “National Pollinator Week” marked a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. Pollinator Week has now grown into an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, beetles, and of course bats.
From deserts to rainforests, nectar-feeding bats are critical pollinators for a wide variety of plants of great economic and ecological value. In North American deserts, giant cacti and agave depend on bats for pollination, while tropical bats pollinate incredible numbers of plants.
Most flowering plants cannot produce seeds and fruit without pollination – the process of moving pollen grains from the male part of the flower (the stamen) to the female part (the pistil). This process also improves the genetic diversity of cross-pollinated plants. Bats that drink the sweet nectar inside flowers pick up a dusting of pollen and move it along to other flowers as they feed.
A few of the commercial products that depend on bat pollinators for wild or cultivated varieties include: bananas, peaches, durian, cloves, carob, balsa wood, and agave.
Pollinator Week was initiated and is managed by Pollinator Partnership.
For more information on how to celebrate, visit https://www.pollinator.org/pollinator-week