WENATCHEE, Wash. – Stemilt is celebrating its Bee Friendly Certification® through Pollinator Partnership located in California during Pollinator Week from June 20th through the 26th. Pollinator Partnership and their Bee Friendly Farming® program was created to promote the health of pollinators and ensure the future of sustainable agriculture across North America and globally.
“Stemilt earned its certification in Bee Friendly Farming® through Pollinator Partnership in April 2021 for its owned acres of farmland,” explains Dianna Sanchez, Stemilt’s Technical Support Agronomist. “Pollinator protection has been a priority at Stemilt for many years, and before receiving our certification, it began with our Responsible Choice® mission to do what’s right for the land and maintain sustainability in our orchards.”
During Pollinator Week, Stemilt will partner with Pollinator Partnership to spread awareness about the importance of pollinators and what can be done to support them. In 2021, Stemilt took one step further and became Bee Friendly Farming® certified by planting over 400 acres of native wildflowers and bee forage to support pollinators and continues to practice Integrated Pest Management.
“We are very excited to continue our partnership with Stemilt Growers as we continue to expand the Bee Friendly Farming® program into the Pacific Northwest,” says Pollinator Partnership’s Miles Dakin. “Bee Friendly Farming® will soon have an on the ground presence as we hire a Pacific Northwest associate and through our partnership with LIVE Certified. These new resources will assist farmers in planting pollinator habitat and implementing best management practices – a big win for both pollinators and farms.”
In the first year of planting bee forage in Stemilt orchards, there was an apparent pollinator growth because there are places for bees and other pollinators to find flowering plants outside of the bloom time for apples, pears, and cherries. Pollinators have habitats all year-round because of different species of flowers that bloom throughout the season.
“Providing pollinator habitats gives the pollinators a place of refuge and diverse diets when there are no blooms in the orchards to ensure their health and wellbeing,” says Sanchez.
During Pollinator Week, Stemilt is spreading awareness for pollinator importance through a series of social media posts on its Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn platforms. It also partners with Pollinator Partnership to encourage social media users to use the #PollinatorWeek hashtag and share Pollinator Partnership’s Pollinator Week logo.
“Bees, butterflies, and other pollinators are present in Stemilt’s owned orchards, and they play a most important role in growing World Famous Fruit,” explains Sanchez. “Our Bee Friendly Farming® program has provided them with the habitats they need to thrive so we can help them help us in supporting healthy and sustainable ecosystems in agriculture.”
Stemilt is a family-owned grower, packer, and shipper of tree fruit. Owned and operated by the Mathison family, Stemilt’s mission is to cultivate people and delight consumers with its World Famous Fruits. Stemilt is a leader in sweet cherries and organic tree fruits, and a key supplier of apples and pears. The company stewards an environmentally sustainable and socially responsible business through its Responsible Choice® program, which has been in place since 1989. For more information about Stemilt, visit www.stemilt.com.