JOPLIN, Mo. – Approximately $3 billion – that’s the estimated annual financial benefit pollinating insects provide to U.S. residents according to a 2006 study by Cornell University and the Xerxes Society. Consequently, humans are helping themselves whenever they improve habitat for pollinators.
Bees and other pollinating insects in the Joplin area will soon have improved living conditions, thanks to a habitat partnership project of the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), Audubon, and members of the Chert Glades Master Naturalist chapter. This local project is part of the Bayer “Feed A Bee” $500,000 initiative to plant pollinator forage areas in all 50 states by the end of 2018.
Locally, three acres adjacent to Shoal Creek at Redings Mill Bridge just south of Joplin will be transformed into pollinator habitat. During the past three years, the project area has been cleared of a majority of the invasive plants. These will be replaced with a diverse mix of native forbs, grasses and sedges. Planting will begin in this fall.
Bayer’s “Feed A Bee” program was designed to increase food for bees and other pollinators by planting pollinator-attractant plants and establishing additional forage acreage. The Joplin-area Chert Glades Master Naturalist Chapter has received $5,000 to fund this planting project. A total of 71 projects funded in 34 states and the District of Columbia have been funded since the national project’s launch two years ago.
More information about the benefits of pollinating insects can be found at mdc.mo.gov.