There are many insects and birds we depend on as pollinators in our environment. Honey bees are probably one of the most well-known pollinators. As honey bees travel from flower to flower, they are spreading pollen that will pollinate flowers and result in fruits and seeds. Some plants fully depend on the honey bee to spread pollen that would otherwise not be well dispersed resulting in poor pollination and poor fruit set.
If we did not have the honey bee, some of the foods that we enjoy would not exist. These foods would include watermelon, cucumber, almonds, blueberries, apples, squash, grapes, pumpkins, strawberries and peaches. According to NC State University’s Department of Entomology, from 2002 to 2006 honey bees directly accounted for approximately $96 million in North Carolina’s annual fruit and vegetable production (NC State Beekeeping Note 3.14).
This week, June 17-23, is National Pollinator Week. To celebrate pollinators, the Farm Credit Farmers Market will be celebrating a Pollinator Day at the Farmers Market on Saturday, June 22. Beekeepers of the Neuse will be on site to share information and answer questions about honey bees and beekeeping. They will also have local honey for sale.
Extension Master Gardener Volunteers will also be at the farmers market on Pollinator Day to share information and plant lists for attracting more butterflies and birds to your gardens.
The Farm Credit Farmers Market is open on Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The market is located behind The Maxwell Center at 3114 Wayne Memorial Drive, Goldsboro.
We look forward to you joining us on June 22 for Pollinator Day at the Farm Credit Farmers Market to learn more about pollinators and purchase local honey from local beekeeping clubs.
Got gardening questions? We can help! Contact the Wayne County Extension Gardener Volunteer Plant Clinic on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, contact the Wayne County Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Plant Clinic by phone at 919-731-1433, e-mail at Master.Gardener@waynegov.com or by visiting the Wayne County Extension Office at The Maxwell Regional Agricultural & Convention Center, 3114B Wayne Memorial Drive, Goldsboro.
Jessica Strickland is an Agriculture extension agent, specializing in horticulture for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Wayne County.