Extension volunteers conduct Greater Georgia pollinator count events at public gardens


Did you know that Forsyth County Extension volunteers Master Gardener and Master Naturalist partner with Forsyth County Public Libraries and the Department of Parks and Recreation to provide demonstration and educational public gardens throughout the county?

Although one of the gardens is called “The Secret Garden”, we do not want these gardens to remain secret.

This is one of the reasons why extension volunteers will organize events and activities in each garden on August 20.

The other reason is to encourage people to participate in the fourth annual Greater Georgia Pollinator Count, which will take place August 19-20.

Why count pollinators?

Around 2006-07, the sudden disappearance of bee colonies around the world caught the public eye.

As researchers tried to understand the causes of this phenomenon, called Colony Collapse Disorder, which claimed 30-90% of hives in managed apiaries, others noted declines in native bee populations.

Studies estimate that there are over 3,500 different species of bees native to North America, and over 540 have been documented in Georgia.

Some native bees are crop specialists, such as southeastern blueberry bees and squash bees.

Around the world, 87 major food groups, representing 35% of our global food supply, depend on insects and other insects to spread pollen so that fruits, nuts, vegetables and seeds can thrive.

Agriculture is the mainstay of Georgia’s economy, and insects provide approximately $488 million in pollination services to Georgia’s agricultural industry.

Habitat loss and fragmentation, often caused by land disturbance, development and urbanization, are major issues in pollinator decline.

Negative attitude towards insects is another threat to pollinators. In 2016, at the request of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Georgia joined other states in creating a pollinator protection plan.

The Georgia plan was created jointly by the University of Georgia Department of Entomology and the Georgia Department of Agriculture, with input from beekeepers, fruit and vegetable growers, and others.

In the Georgia Pollinator Protection Plan, every Georgia resident has a role to play in supporting healthy pollinator populations.

The Great Georgia Pollinator Census, another UGA initiative, is a citizen science project launched in 2019 with the goal of educating people about the importance of pollinators in our ecosystems as well as our food production systems, and to encourage all Georgia residents to participate in pollinators. habitat protection and creation.


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