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We should thank a pollinator at every meal. These diminutive creatures fertilize a third of the crops we eat. Yet half of the 200,000 species of pollinators are threatened. Birds, bats, insects, and many other pollinators are disappearing, putting our entire food supply in jeopardy. In North America and Europe, bee populations have already plummeted by more than a third and the population of butterflies has declined 31 percent.
Protecting Pollinators explores why the statistics have become so dire and how they can be reversed. Jodi Helmer breaks down the latest science on environmental threats and takes readers inside the most promising conservation initiatives. Efforts include famers reducing pesticides, cities creating butterfly highways, volunteers ripping up invasive plants, gardeners planting native flowers, and citizen scientists monitoring migration.
Along with inspiring stories of revival and lessons from failed projects, readers will find practical tips to get involved. They will also be reminded of the magic of pollinators—not only the iconic monarch and dainty hummingbird, but the drab hawk moth and homely bats that are just as essential. Without pollinators, the world would be a duller, blander place. Helmer shows how we can make sure they are always fluttering, soaring, and buzzing around us.
About the Author
Jodi Helmer writes about food and farming while tending gardens and keeping bees on a small homestead in North Carolina. She is the author of six books, including Farm Fresh Georgia and Growing Your Own Tea Garden.
"The loss of pollinators receives a lot of press, but there's a lot of conflicting information and debate about causes. Protecting Pollinators presents the most compelling and science-based overview...Even better, it's presented in a highly readable book that can help you make a difference...Whether you're just looking to grow some beneficial plants in your backyard or you're a dedicated scientist, you'll refer to this handy book again and again."
— Nature's "Cool Green Science" blog
"Protecting Pollinators… tackles the complexity of pollinator conservation head on… [it] is full of inspiring stories of people’s efforts to help, from public libraries providing native wildflower seeds to citizen scientists mapping milkweed, the larval food plant for monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus). The book wrestles admirably with the complicated effects of invasive species and climate change on the many thousands of wild pollinator species.”
"Well done resume of the latest challenges in pollinator protection...this book has great strengths. It not only lists the difficulties, but also gives numerous practical solutions for them."
— Conservation Biology
"Accessible and inspiring."
— Future of Food
"This book is ... easy to read, and written in a compelling way. The author uses familiar images to help readers envision the biological details of insect/plant interactions and human influences on how those things work."
— Natural Areas Journal
“Jodi Helmer’s book does more than lay out the state of affairs for pollinators; she also offers practical and inspiring solutions. Her book is comprehensive, and covers not just bees, but many of the other pollinators upon which we rely. It is an engaging read, packed with information, and she provides enough background that even someone not familiar with pollinators and their ecology will have a healthy grasp by the end. I am thrilled that Jodi has written such an important and truly useful book, and recommend it to any who are interested in the future of our pollinators.”
— Olivia Carril, coauthor of The Bees in Your Backyard: A Guide to North America's Bees