Eleven years ago, the U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval and designation of a week in June as “National Pollinator Week” marked a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. Pollinator Week has now grown into an international celebration of the valuable services bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles provide to our ecosystem.
In June 2014, the White House issued a federal strategy to promote the health of honey bees and other pollinators. In response, U.S. Embassy Bern developed a pollinator-friendly landscaping system. We have been sowing and cultivating Switzerland-native flowering plants in our meadows, in order to create a beneficial environment for wild bees, bumblebees, and other pollinators. Interesting fact: While honey bee colonies live together in one beehive, wild bees – even though they live in a colony, too – each dig their own hole in the ground to live in. On sunny days, they all venture out and our Embassy grounds are buzzing with bees.
On the historic property, we welcome wildlife – especially pollinators – and maintain a balanced use of the grounds: More formal areas for hosting events and less manicured ones for wildlife, as well as vegetable and flower gardens that produce food and decorations.