THE GARDEN ISLAND
/ September 1, 2016 /
Kauai is home to more than 5,000 species of native insects and many of those are pollinators, with an integral part to play in the balance of some of Hawaii’s oldest ecosystems.
Many of these insects are endemic to Kauai, and many of the species they pollinate are endangered.
The relationship between pollinators and plants is sometimes specialized down to one particular species, creating codependency between blossoms and bugs.
One example is moth-pollinated flowers, which are generally white in color and more fragrant during the moth’s nocturnal hours, according to William Haines, research entomologist with the University of Hawaii and the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife.
About a year ago, a group of scientists, farmers, conservationists and representatives from agribusiness nationwide joined together to form the Monarch Collaborative, a group that is focused on developing strategies to promote monarch growth.
Syngenta and Monsanto are both part of the Monarch Collaborative.
Syngenta also has its own program, Operation Pollinator, which is a 15-year-old global program that helps create essential habitats for pollinators.
“Through Operation Pollinator, Syngenta is trying to boost the planting of additional pollinator forage and habitat in ag landscapes and on golf courses, both important on Kauai,” said Beth Tokioka, Syngenta spokeswoman.
Tokioka said Operation Pollinator dovetails with Syngenta’s cover crop efforts in Hawaii, which are focused on growing a variety of cover crop species such as sunn hemp, oats, sunflower and peas.
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