The Call Goes Out Help The Pollinators!
The mysterious bee illness called colony collapse disorder, is putting major pressure on American agriculture to find ways to supplement the European honeybee to pollinate food crops. While honeybees are the pollinators of choice for American farmers, the fact is that there are a number of pollinators that can help do the job: hummingbirds, butterflies, bats, moths, wasp flies and native bees. So if all these winged friends are helping to pollinate food crops, how can we help support the pollinators?
Three Things You Can Do
No matter how small your landscaping garden may be, you can help provide an inviting environment for pollinators.
1 – Provide food sources
- Keep things blooming as much of the year as possible
- Plant nectar plants to bloom in every season. Plant native plants when possible
- Penstemon, Salvia, Sage, Sunflowers, Bottlebrush, Cosmos, Rosemary, Thyme, Lavender, Kniphofia, Jasmine, Buddlehia to name a few
2 – Create habitat as well as food sources
- Shelter and nesting sites include a bit of leaf litter, soft centered twigs, a little dryish bare soil, and a bat house
- Water is also important – a birdbath will provide a much needed source of water for many pollinators
3 – Make pollinators welcome
- Use insecticides judiciously
- If you must use them, learn timing to reduce pollinator exposure. Use the least harmful formulation and never use time release pesticides.
- Use IPM practices when ever possible
Thank You! We thought we were doomed to live with old juniper shrubs forever. What a dramatic difference your colorful new plantings have made in our landscaping.