Pollinator Tournament 2024
2022 Winner: Squash Bee

Squash Bee (Peponapis pruinose)

Andrena Mining Bee

Andrena Mining Bee (Sp. Andrena)

American Bumblebee (Bombus pensylvanicus

American Bumblebee (Bombus pensylvanicus)

Pollinator Tournament 2024

Cornell Cooperative Extension-Yates County is launching the 3rd Annual Yates County Pollinator Tournament in March 2024. We invite the community to choose which pollinator to crown in this March-Madness style bracket, where pollinators are pitted against each other for your vote.

Why Pollinators Matter

Inspired by the National Park Service’s “Fat Bear Week,” this tournament aims to educate the community and raise awareness of the variety and importance of pollinators in supporting and maintaining agriculture.

What is Genus Bombus?

All bees commonly known as “bumblebees,” are in the genus Bombus (BOM-bus). There are approximately 250 species of Bombus in the world. Bumblebees are among the first bees to emerge in spring and the last to die off. They are also more efficient pollinators than honey bees (Apis mellifera) for many crops, including tomatoes, cranberries, raspberries, blueberries, and field beans.

How It Works

Like previous tournaments, this year’s event will run over five weeks as an interactive event through our social media channels. Each week will feature a face-off between eight pollinators and fun facts about each species. Vote for your favorite and see which will advance to the next round. 

2024 Pollinator of the Year

Winning 70.4% of the vote, this year's Yates County Pollinator of the Year is...the American Bumblebee (Bombus pensylvanicus)! Known for its stocky build and distinctive buzzing sound, the American Bumblebee is an important pollinator of various flowering plants, including agricultural crops such as tomatoes, peppers, and berries. Until recently, the American bumblebee was one of the most common bumblebees seen. However, in the last 20 years, its population has decreased by 90%, and it is now a rare sight in the northeast.

2024 Pollinator Tournament

Past Pollinators of the Year

For more information, visit our Facebook page  (https://www.facebook.com/CCEYates), Twitter (https://twitter.com/CCEYates), or YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/@CCEYates). 

Pollinators are vital to creating and maintaining the habitats and ecosystems native animals rely upon for food and shelter and to farmers, nursery owners, and produce growers for their economic livelihoods. 

Last updated April 23, 2024