Rural Lifestyle

Environment : AAD announces Pollinator Garden Project during National Pollinator Week

In recognition of National Pollinator Week, the Arkansas Agriculture Department
(AAD) unveiled a new pollinator garden effort planned for the north side of the Little Rock Headquarters
Office complex at 1 Natural Resources Drive. The garden will include various species of native flowers
and educational signage to bring awareness to the valuable contributions of native pollinators to
agricultural operations and natural ecosystems.

Eleven years ago the U.S. Senate designated a week in June as “National Pollinator Week” as a step
toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. “Pollinator Week has grown into
a national celebration through projects like this one,” says Agri Program Manager Jake Bodart, who is
organizing the effort for the AAD. “We hope that this pollinator garden brings awareness to the
important role that native pollinators play in our agriculture system and serves as an educational
centerpiece for the public,” says Bodart.

“I applaud Jake and other Arkansas Agriculture Department staff for initiating a project and volunteering
their off-duty time to create a garden that will not use any state funds but still provide educational
benefits about the importance of pollinators to Arkansas agriculture,”, says Arkansas Agriculture
Secretary Wes Ward.



The AAD’s Apiary Division serves Arkansas beekeepers, and helps to maintain and promote viable
honeybee populations for the purpose of pollination in Arkansas. According to the USDA Animal and
Plant Health Inspection Service, honey bees are managed and used to pollinate over 100 crops grown
commercially in North America including Arkansas commodities such as cotton, tomatoes, strawberries,
sunflowers, apples, watermelons, squash, peaches, and blueberries. Currently, Arkansas has 2,826
registered apiarists with 5,537 active yards and 45,062 colonies. Arkansas Apiary rules and regulations,
registration forms for bee yards, inspection details, and more are available, here.

Find a guide for selecting plants for pollinators by zip code through the National Pollinator Partnership,
here. Learn more about conservation programs available through the United States Department of
Agriculture which allow farmers and ranchers to manage pollinator habitat while also improving their
operations, here.




Arkansas Agriculture Department





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Terry Simmons