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Protect Pollinators and Their Habitat

As part of President Sandra Robinson's focus on Preserving Our Pollinators, the NGC partnership with Crown Bees and their BeeGAP program will continue to be an important focus for her 2015-2017 term.

Native honey bees are in peril, their populations experiencing significant declines in the last few decades. In turn, their decline threatens our food supply. THe NGC program, BeeGAP (Gardeners Adding Pollinators) is a partnership with Crown Bees, a gentle bee provider of mason bees. Mason bees are native to North America and are an excellent supplement to the troubled honey bee. When teamed with mason bees, honey bees are more efficient pollinators.

Honeybees are in critical danger of colony collapse disorder.According to the United States Department of Agriculture:"Honey bees, which are a critical link in U.S. agriculture, have been under serious pressure from a mystery problem: Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), which is syndrome defined as a dead colony with no adult bees or dead bee bodies but with a live queen and usually honey and immature bees still present. No scientific cause for CCD has been proven.

But CCD is far from the only risk to the health of honey bees and the economic stability of commercial beekeeping and pollination operations in the United States. Since the 1980s, honey bees and beekeepers have had to deal with a host of new pathogens from deformed wing virus to nosema fungi, new parasites such as Varroa mites, pests like small hive beetles, nutrition problems from lack of diversity or availability in pollen and nectar sources, and possible sublethal effects of pesticides. These problems, many of which honey bees might be able to survive if each were the only one, are often hitting in a wide variety of combinations, and weakening and killing honey bee colonies. CCD may even be a result of a combination of two or more of these factors and not necessarily the same factors in the same order in every instance."

Join in with NGC and Crown Bees BeeGAP Program!The BeeGAP program therefore plays a critical role in the NCG's efforts to protect pollinators and their habitat, help to increase the populations of mason bees and healthy native bees, bring more colonies into communities to contribute their gifts to agriculture, and create healthy, thriving eco-systems where we live.

For those of you that have been participating in the Mason Bee Project's BeeGAP Program, we encourage you to continue with the program! For those that haven't yet given BeeGAP a try, we suggest you give it a try! How-to videos and instructions can be found at http://www.crownbees.com.

NGC is an Inaugural Network Partner in this Collaboration!

Because of our renowned reputation, and the strength of our membership, NGC has been invited to be an Inaugural Network Partner of the National Pollinator Garden Network, recently formed to help establish one million gardens to assist in restoring critical pollinator population recovery in the United States. Over the next two years, The Network will bring together the science and garden capabilities of industry with the outreach of nongovernmental organizations to empower a million private citizens and organizations to plant pollinator gardens nationwide.

Join National Pollinator Garden Network and The Million Pollinator Garden ChallengeFederal agencies have been directed to take steps to protect and restore pollinator populations due to recent declines in the number and distribution of pollinating insects causing significant concern among ecologists and agricultural interests. These declines include our managed bee population used in agricultural, native bees, monarch butterflies (suffering a decline of more than 90% over the past two decades), and many others. In addition to being important to natural ecosystems across our country, pollinators are critical to one third of our food production. While there may be many reasons for pollinator decline, experts agree that the overall loss in the amount and distribution of habitat and food plants is a critical contributor.

As members of a Garden Clubs, we can certainly make a positive difference in our community, but as a member of National Garden Clubs, Inc. we can make a significant difference in our World!

This is an unprecedented collaboration and our members will be providing food and habitat for pollinators in our home gardens (can even be a container on a deck or a condo window planter), as well as our public garden projects, youth garden projects, nursing homes, botanical gardens, business areas, and government offices. Monetary awards will be available for our member clubs, and we plan to coordinate grants to clubs that will plant pollinator gardens with our youth! It is SO important to teach our youth how to take care of our land, our wildlife, our food supply for the future! Who will teach them if we don’t!?

Register Your Garden!

Register your pollinator habitat! Click here to buzz over to the Pollinator Partnership Website where you can create an account, register your pollinator site and see an interactive map of sites that have been registered. It's free and easy! Explore other pollinator friendly SHARE landscapes all over the globe! Be a part of the movement now