Celebrating Spring

This article was originally published in April 2018

The first Earth Day took place on April 22, 1970. Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, created a bipartisan “national teach-in on the environment” and promoted it widely on national media. More than 20 million Americans across the country joined in celebrating the first Earth Day, and the momentum from that day is credited for the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species acts later that year. Today, more than 1 billion people across the globe celebrate Earth Day each year with actions and educational events.

This April we celebrate the arrival of spring and honor the earth by highlighting those that are largely unseen: the insects and animals that pollinate our fruits and flowers and help maintain our food system. We join the spirit of Earth Day by using education about our environment to help promote engagement and action for environmental protection and appreciation.

Our cover story introduces the threats to pollinators and opportunities to help from the pollinator conservation co-director for the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. Our story on Gardens for the bees provides tips and tricks for creating pollinator-friendly gardens from one of our PCC Cooks instructors (sign up for her spring gardening class and other exciting spring classes at PCCCooks.com). Our nutrition picks explore the amazingly nutritious and medicinal food products that can be collected from honeybees — from raw honey to royal jelly — highlighting some of the exceptional bee products we sell in our stores.

Finally, we are excited to introduce the PCC Protect the Pollinators project. We invite you to purchase and plant pollinator-friendly seeds and to help spread the word about the importance of pollinators. Join the ranks of citizen scientist volunteers across the country and help gather crucial data on pollinator populations. Share your photographs to inspire others and maybe even win a prize. Bee the change you want to see in the world.

REMINDER: PCC member voting for board candidates begins this month! Voting begins on April 27 and is open through May 30, 2018. All eligible members can vote online, in stores or by mail. Members also may vote at our annual meeting on June 6. More information about the annual meeting and online voting is in this issue.

Also in this issue

PCC's 2018 annual Election

PCC’s Annual Election is just around the corner. Get ready to cast your vote!

Insects for food security

Pollinators contribute to the production of crops as diverse as avocados, almonds, apples, canola, chocolate, coffee and pumpkins, as well as a huge range of things we typically feed to livestock, such as alfalfa and clover. Based on current estimates, pollinators – such as bees – are responsible for about one of every three bites of food or drink that we consume.

Nutrition Picks - Apitherapy: Nutritional and medicinal properties of bee products

In addition to their important work as pollinators, honey-bees produce some amazingly nutritious food products. Honey, bee pollen, propolis and royal jelly can be collected from honeybees and used for a wide range of medicinal and nutritional properties.