It’s National Pollinator Week, from the White House

The White House, Washington

Hi again, everyone —

Thanks for the great input you’ve been sharing. Thousands of you have weighed in over the past several days on which scientific topics you’d like to hear more about.

As you may have seen, my last message featured an image from the Hubble Space Telescope showcasing the densest-known cluster of stars in the Milky Way — and reminding us just how expansive our universe really is.

But there’s beauty (and science) in the small things, too.

It’s National Pollinator Week, so I thought I’d share a few incredible close-ups of bees by U.S. Geological Survey bee expert Sam Droege. Scroll down for some scientific facts about bees — and be sure you’re watching the OSTP Twitter account around 1 p.m. ET, when we’ll be featuring live footage from the beehive on the White House South Lawn via Periscope.

Check out this cool bee photo!

In addition to being beautiful, in their own way, bees are pretty incredible creatures.

  • The “buzz” associated with honeybees is the sound of their four wings beating more than 11,000 times per minute. With wing-speeds that high, honeybees can fly faster than most people can run: about 15 miles per hour.
  • Ever wonder how bees find their way back to a hive? Among the many tools in their navigation toolbox, bees use magnetism. Worker bees have a region of magnetite in their abdomens that allow them to use the Earth’s magnetic field to help them navigate.
  • Honeybee pollination alone adds more than $15 billion in value to agricultural crops each year, and helps ensure that our diets include ample fruits, nuts, and vegetables.

Honeybees, native bees, other insect pollinators, birds, and bats provide tremendously valuable services to society. That’s why, here at the White House and across the Administration, we’re doing a lot to protect these hardworking contributors to society, which you can learn about here.

Here’s how YOU can join federal agencies in this effort: Plant a pollinator-friendly garden at your own school, home, or business, and help achieve the ambitious goal of planting a million pollinator gardens nationwide. Learn more here.

I’ll be in touch with more soon —


Dr. John P. Holdren
Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy
The White House