Pollinator Week 2023

June 19 - 25, 2023

As an award-winning, environmentally progressive community, the Village of Hawthorn Woods is proud to celebrate National Pollinator Week, June 19-25, to promote the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats, and beetles.

Next week, residents can look forward to contests, word puzzles, zoom webinars, recipes, quizzes, and more, in celebration of some of our favorite non-human residents!

All activities will be posted each day on our Village of Hawthorn Woods Facebook page. Please click here to view our Facebook page.

Our community is filled with residents who go above and beyond in their conservation efforts for these species. During National Pollinator Week, we ask residents to send us any images of pollinators hard at work, yourselves learning about them, or your own actions to support their habitat. You may send your photos to Kim Stewart at kstewart@vhw.org or Brian Sullivan at bsullivan@vhw.org.

If you don’t know how to support pollinators today, we hope to change that throughout next week!

Pollinator Friendly Cooking

CLICK HERE to download a compilation of recipes featuring ingredients that rely on pollination services. 

Pollinator Q & A

What insects are the most effective pollinators?

Hoverflies. Hoverflies are prolific pollinators. They are known to visit at least 72% of global food crops and over 70% of animal-pollinated wildflowers.

Which insect is the most common pollinator?

Bees. Of all the insect pollinators, bees are the only ones that collect pollen for eating. As such, bees are responsible for 90 percent of all the world's pollination

What are 3 interesting facts about pollinators?

More than 100 U.S. grown crops rely on pollinators. The added revenue to crop production from pollinators is valued at $18 billion. Honey bees are America's primary commercial pollinator, although there are over 4,000 types of bees in the United States. Today, there are about 2.8 million U.S. honey bee hives

What is the oldest pollinator in the world?

Paleontologists have found fossils of the oldest known insects and perhaps the world's first-ever plant pollinators in Russia. The rare fossils of the earwig-like insects, known as tillyardembiids were discovered along the riverbank near the village of Chekarda in Russia.

What is the best flower to attract pollinators?

  • Butterfly Bush. As you might expect, butterfly bushes are great at attracting butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden.
  • Bee Balm. Another aptly named flower, bee balm deserves a place in every pollinator garden.
  • Lavender
  • Coneflower
  • Black-Eyed Susan
  • Borage
  • Milkweed
  • Asters

What is a bees favorite color?

The most likely colors to attract bees, according to scientists, are purple, violet and blue. Bees also have the ability to see color much faster than humans. Their color vision is the fastest in the animal world-five times faster than humans.

What is the smallest pollinator?

Perdita minima. Perdita minima are slightly less than two millimeters long! As a solitary bee, it constructs a diminutive nest in sandy desert soils. Entomologists and naturalists who seek out this tiny pollinator typically look for its passing shadow across the ground rather than the bee itself.

What are the 3 biggest threats to pollinators?

Invasive plants crowd out native ones, reducing food and shelter for pollinators. Disease-causing organisms— including viruses, fungi and bacteria — can spread from non-native to native pollinators. Other stressors, such as poor nutrition and pesticide exposure, may intensify the effect of diseases.

What animal is the number 1 pollinator?

Wild honeybees. Wild honeybees work ceaselessly to pollinator crops like apples and blueberries.

Pollinator Top 10

Who makes the list of top pollinators for our food crops?

  1. Wild honeybees - Wild honeybees work ceaselessly to pollinator crops like apples and blueberries.
  2. Managed honey bees - Most managed bee hives are European bees  that work for the agricultural industry. The majority of these hives are moved across the country in order to pollinate different crops.
  3. Bumblebees - These are the powerhouses of the bee family. Unlike their lazier cousins, the honeybee, bumblebees work in rain, sleet and wind. I have seen bumblebees clinging on to flowers whipping around in a gale-force wind and struggling through early snows to bring home the nectar. Their thick coat of hair helps insulate them against the colder weather.
  4. Other wild bee species - There are over 4,000 native bee species in the USA. They come in many colors, sizes and kinds. About 70% of native bees nest in the ground. Over 25% of these bees are in danger of extinction. One of the most common bee families are the sweat bees (Halictidae).  Some of these bees are a gorgeous metallic green!
  5. Butterflies - When butterflies sip nectar they also pollinate flowers. Unlike moths, butterflies are very active during the day. Butterflies don't move as much pollen as bees do since they lack any specialized structures for collecting pollen like the hairs on a bee. They especially like flat, clustered flowers such as yarrow that they can land on easily. Other reason that butterflies click 'like' on a flower are: a good source of  nectar, blooms open during the day, bright vivid colors and nectar guides. Nectar guides are regions of low ultraviolet (UV) reflectance near the center of each petal. Since people can't see UV, this region appears invisible to us. Butterflies, however, are like bees in that they can detect UV light. The contrasting UV pattern on many flowers is called a nectar guide. Like the landing strip at an airport, it allows butterflies and bees to quickly locate the flower's center. Butterflies have excellent sight. They have four to fifteen different types of photoreceptors (most humans only have three!). They can see the same rainbow of colors as humans, plus in ultraviolet, violet and broadband. Broadband photoreceptors  perceive multiple colors at once and we have no idea what the world would look like with broadband receptors. 
  6. Moths - Many moths pollinate night blooming flowers. Some species, like the Sphinx moth (Sphingidae) can be active during the day. Some Sphinx moths, commonly known as Hummingbird moths, hover at flowers and can resemble humming birds in their unusual up, down and sidewise movements.
  7. Wasps - Some species of wasps are important pollinators. Wasps lack the hair of bees which makes them less efficient at pollination. The vegetarian wasp family Masarinae (pollen wasps) feed both nectar and pollen to their young. 
  8. Other insects - Flies, beetles and other insects are pollinators. Hoverflies, from the family Syrphidae, are super fly pollinators. They are known as flower flies. Many of the roughly 6,000 species known worldwide are bee or wasp mimics. So the bees get create for their hard work. About 40% of hoverfly larvae prey on pest species of insects. Midges (Ceratopogonidae and Cecidomyiidae families) are the only known pollinators of the cacao tree. The cacao tree, which provides the the world with chocolate, has very small intricate white blossoms that are impossible for other insect pollinators to navigate. Thus without the humble midge we would have no chocolate! Unlike the blood thirsty female mosquitoes, male mosquitoes peacefully sip nectar. They pollinate some orchids and may pollinate other plants.
  9. Birds - A few birds act as pollinators; this is known as ornithophily. Birds that pollinate include hummingbirds, spiderhunters, sunbirds, honeycreepers and honeyeaters. Birds like bright colored blooms with lots of yummy nectar. 
  10. Bats - Nectar drinking bats, such as the lesser long nosed bat, act as pollinators.