In Barry County a group of dedicated citizens have begun their inaugural Operation Pollination project to build a 400-square foot native pollinator garden near the entrance of Kellogg Community College’s Fehsenfeld Center. Reading their story in my local newspaper, I was inspired to further investigate the urgent need for such initiatives. Among the many things that I learned through the Michigan eLibrary (MeL) eResources, is that “birds, bats, insects and many other pollinators are disappearing, putting our entire food supply in jeopardy.” (Helmer) I also learned that there are several resources in MeL on both the decimation of pollinators as well as the many ways we can revitalize what’s been lost.
In her book, Where Have All the Bees Gone?: Pollinators in Crisis, from the eBook High School Collection, Rebecca Hirsh points out that more than twenty thousand species of bees live around the world. Globally, bees pollinate about $24 billion worth of crops—almost 10 percent of the total value of food production worldwide. Due to pesticides, development, and the elimination of certain plant species, bee populations are in rapid decline. In her most recent (2022) publication, Where Have All the Birds Gone?: Nature in Crisis, she references a 2019 study published in the journal, Science: Since 1970, 3 billion birds—nearly 30 per cent of all the birds in the United States and Canada—had vanished. Finally, in her book, The Monarchs Are Missing: A Butterfly Mystery , readers learn that between deforestation in Mexico and temperature changes in Texas, the Monarch Butterfly population is facing serious challenges.
Fortunately, there are many ways to proactively rebuild a pollinator-rich environment. While there are articles available through many MeL eResources such as Science Reference Center, Education Source, and MasterFILE Complete, the eBook Collections offer a great place to begin your learning:
From the earliest learner to the more advanced, there is something in MeL for every age to learn why we need to protect the 200,000 species of pollinators in the world.
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