National Pollinator Week 2024

National Pollinator week 2024 celebrates pollinators and spreads the word about what we can do to protect them. Pollinators are essential to agriculture, ecosystems, and economies. To learn more about pollinators and how to support them, visit Pollinator Partnership.

Herrera’s Shawree Zhang and Danielle Rapoza, PWS share three unique pollinator pairs found in the Pacific Northwest:

Ecologist Danielle Rapoza, PWS

Scientist Shawree Zhang

Taylor’s checkerspot (Euphydryas editha taylori) and common yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Taylor’s checkerspot is a butterfly that endemic to the Pacific Northwest currently isolated to 8 known populations in Washington. This species supports bunchgrass plant communities, primary larval host plants, adult nectar plants, and aquatic areas such as wetlands and streams. Common yarrow boasts an abundance of nectar, a long blooming period, and has a relatively fast growth rate and an ability to colonize disturbed sites, supporting pollinators like Taylor’s checkerspot. The conservation of high value flowering prairie plants like yarrow is one of many factors essential to the conservation of this threatened species. 

Anna’s hummingbird (Calypte anna) and orange honeysuckle (Lonicera ciliosa)
Hummingbirds are especially attracted to red or orange flowers, and the native orange honeysuckle is a well-known hummingbird magnet. The tube-shaped flowers perfectly fit the bird’s long, thin bill and contain abundant nectar (hence the name), and the hummingbird helps the plant in return by fertilizing the flowers to create berries that feed other birds and animals. Evidence suggests that Anna’s hummingbirds generate a slight electric charge with their wings that attracts pollen to their feathers, allowing them to spread it more easily.  

Willows (Salix sp.) and bumble bees (Bombus sp.)
Bumble bees are one of thousands of bees native to North America. Like European honeybees, bumble bees are important pollinators for both native plants and agricultural crops. Bumble bee colonies have an annual life cycle and are often the first bees active in late winter. Bumble bees provide essential pollination at a time of year when many other pollinators are not yet active.  For this reason, early-season flowering plants, such as willows, are vital for their survival by providing an important nectar and pollen source during this critical period. The often conspicuous and fuzzy male flowers, known as catkins, are familiar to many people, while female catkins are smaller greenish flowers. 

Here are a few easy ways that you can help make a difference to pollinators:  

  • Reduce your impact. Reduce or eliminate your pesticide use, increase green spaces, and minimize urbanization. Pollution and climate change affect pollinators, too.
  • Plant for pollinators. Create pollinator-friendly habitat with native flowering plants that supply pollinators with nectar, pollen, and room for nesting. For information on what to plant in your area, download a free eco-regional guide online at
  • Tell a friend. Educate your neighbors, schools, and community groups about the importance of pollinators. Host a dinner, a pollinated food cook-off, a planting day, or another event, and invite your friends.