The North Coast Resource Conservation & Development Council has partnered with another non-profit organization, Partners for Sustainable Pollination (http://www.pfspbees.org/), to foster habitat enhancement for honey bees and other native pollinators in the North Coast. Both the honey bees and native bees, such as the western bumblebee, are in trouble in California.
The bumblebee, for example, was once common from Monterey County to southern British Columbia. Bumblebees pollinate about 15% of our food crops, as well as native vegetation on which our wildlife depend for survival. Many bumblebees frequent California poppies, lupines, vetch, wild roses, blackberries, clover, sweet peas, horsemint, and mountain penny royal during their flight season, generally from mid-May through September.
Honey bees are also suffering from a variety of problems--loss of forage habitat as well as the enigmatic Colony Collapse Disorder (UD Davis suggests the disorder is attributable to a combination of factors. For more information, visit http://entomology.ucdavis.edu/news/dssericmussen.html). Since pollinated crops account for an annual 15 billion dollars in revenues for the United States, the decline of pollinators is a serious matter. Agricultural operations can enhance pollinator habitat and lesson impacts to pollinators by using biodiverse practices.
Steps can be taken to reverse the decline of pollinators, and the NCRC&DC will soon sponsor several workshops to discuss practices that help pollinators become re-established throughout our area.