Pollinator Protection NGO Enters Pennsylvania

An American not-for-profit organisation which focuses on the sustainable conservation of pollinator habitats is adding another state to its activity portfolio, it has been confirmed.

Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund executive director Pete Berthelsen revealed that his institution would now also approach landowners in Pennsylvania in the northeast of the country. Pennsylvania is the 33rd-biggest US state.

Elsa Gallagher is the fund’s habitat programme director. She emphasises that the NGO has established more than 500 pollinator projects in 12 states since 2017.

Elsa said: “The Seed A Legacy programme started in 12 core Midwest states because those states provide critical habitat for beekeeping and eastern monarch butterfly population recovery.”

Pennsylvania has a “huge potential” for creating sustainable pollinator habitats, she added.

The Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund note attached among flowers, undated. An American NGO which focuses on pollinator habitat conservation has launched a project aiming at getting solar energy players on board. (NewsX/Bee)

Pete said anyone participating in the Seed A Legacy initiative would receive seed mixtures as well as personal guidance. The Nebraska-based biologist claimed beekeepers were benefiting “tremendously” from the special seed mixes provided by the fund which is headquartered in Jamestown, North Dakota.

Elsa explained: “These state-specific mixes are formulated for optimal pollinator health and lead to better outcomes for honeybees, including healthier, stronger beehives, increased honey production and increased annual survival.”

She admitted being “very excited” about expanding the project to Pennsylvania, adding that her team’s mission was to “make each acre the best it can be for pollinators.”

Numerous flowers and plants as well as human food crops rely on the pollination by honeybees and the thousands of solitary bee species that exist in the world. The insects’ habitats are decreasing all over the world due to the application of pesticides, construction projects and global warming.

Pete warned: “​Critical habitat is disappearing in the United States. As a result, honeybees and other pollinators like monarch butterflies are in serious decline. These pollinators are essential to life as we know it.”

Elsa said honeybees and other insects were pollinating 80 per cent of flowering plants worldwide. The Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund programme director warned that monarch butterfly populations have shrunk by 80 per cent in the past 20 years. The annual loss of honeybee hives ranges around 40 per cent, according to the Missouri-based expert.


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