Pollinators are responsible for over 40% of the world’s food supply. The life of abundance and options in the food world that we know exists because of pollinators’ work. With the population of pollinators declining throughout parts of the USA, we owe it to ourselves to help the pollinators.
The main reason for the decline is the loss of habitat. Luckily, there is still time for the backyard, urban, and suburban gardeners to help. A lack of space is no longer an excuse, and WE can all do something to help the pollinators.
5 Ways To Help Pollinators
Biodiversity. Whenever you plant a garden, be sure to add a variety of crops. Think of pollinators as humans. Would you want to go somewhere there is only one type of food available? Plant pollen-rich flowers, trees, shrubs, and other herbaceous plants. Ensure there are plenty of pollen and nectar sources throughout the growing seasons. This food source will help keep pollinators nourished during their long days of pollinating. Milkweed, Calendula, Asters, black-eyed Susan are a few examples of pollen-rich plants.
Water Source. Provide a water source for the pollinators. The water source can be as simple as a birdbath or elaborate as a garden pond, and the choice is yours. The goal is to ensure that the pollinators have access to fresh water, and access to water helps alleviate the stress that is potentially harming them.
Stop being so tidy. Hollow stems from perennials that are homes to pollinators like solitary bees. Other native bees build a nest and raise their young in piles of deadwood, leaf piles, and other places. IF we are constantly cleaning up and removing these spent plants and materials, we can end up destroying potential nesting sites. If you insist on having a neat and tidy gardent then you may want to invest in some bee hotels.
Avoid pesticides. Pesticides and insecticides do just what they are supposed, they kill bugs and insects. The only problem is these same pesticides and inseticides cannot differentiate between pollinators and pests. Try committing to maintain your garden organically. If you are noticing a pest issue, try improving the health of the soil, planting trap crops or non toxic methods of pest management.
Plant natives. Native plants are favorites of pollinators. These plants provide them with food, protect them from predators and act as a place the raise their young. Natives habe evolved with the pollinators in your region. Whats great is that they these natives are often perennials. Meaning you plant them once and they will naturalize and provide food sources forever.
Spread the message of the importance of pollinators with all of your friends. Doing so has the potential to influence thousands even millions of people to follow along.