National Pollinator Week
Blog Post By Linzi Gay
This week is National Pollinator Week, a time to celebrate pollinators and work together to find solutions for how we can protect them.
This year, we are excited to talk about pollinators as they are critical to our recently launched Solar Grown™ Honey and Honey Spreads. But it’s not just honey that make pollinators so important. Did you know that 1 out of every 3 bites of food we eat depends on pollinators? More than three-quarters of the world’s crops rely on pollinators. And it’s not just one visit to a blueberry, cherry or almond. For a single fruit to pollinate, the pollinator must visit the flower many times. A single blueberry requires 2-3 visits, an apricot 2-4 visits and a strawberry requires over 20 visits!
There are many different types of pollinators – bees, birds, bats, moths, beetles, wasps and many others contribute to the repetitive work of visiting flowers to drink nectar, eat pollen and transport the pollen grains from location to location.
What has us really excited right now is the work that is being done to create and promote healthy habitat for our pollinators to thrive. Loss of pollinator habitat is one of the contributing factors to why pollinator populations are in decline. The solar energy industry has an incredible opportunity to plant pollinator friendly native habitat in and around solar panels.
Clif Bar & Company recently built a 5-acre pollinator-friendly solar farm next to their bakery in Twin Falls, Idaho. This solar farm contributes approximately 30% of the electricity needed to power the bakery. The plants that were planted within this solar farm not only control stormwater and improve the soil, they also provide ideal habitat and diverse food sources for bees, monarchs, and other pollinators, which makes this solar model a bee-utiful form of clean energy.
At Clif Family Farm, everything we grow depends on bees and other pollinators. We’ve maintained hives for years on our own organic farm, and this spring we got the buzz for a new pollinator project. Fresh Energy, a nonprofit that fosters a clean energy economy, introduced us to Solar Grown™ honey. It’s produced alongside solar farms that have pollinator-friendly plants around the solar panels.
Our first honey harvest came from hives located within a solar farm in Forest City, Iowa, one of the first pollinator-friendly solar farms in the region and part of this inspiring national trend. The Forest City solar farm was supported by Clif Bar’s latest work with Native Energy, a carbon offset provider that develops projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while generating benefits to local communities.
This week, we are hosting a Virtual Pollinator Week event with special guests Rob Davis, Director of the Center for Pollinators in Energy at Fresh Energy, Elysa Hammond, Senior Vice President of Environmental Stewardship at Clif Bar & Company, and Clif Family’s Executive Chef John McConnell. Join us live on Thursday, June 25th 4pm PST.
Spread the buzz!