We are dependent on pollinators…they are vital to maintain a healthy ecosystem. But unfortunately, many pollinator populations are in decline due to extensive pesticide use as well as the loss of natural habitats and native food resources. We can help pollinators survive and flourish by supporting the creation of a pollinator friendly environment in our own yards.
What is Pollination?
• Pollination is the act of transferring pollen grains from the male structure of a flower to the female structure in order for the plant to produce seeds from which to reproduce.
• Flowers rely on many factors to move pollen. These can include wind, water, birds, bees, butterflies, bats, and other animals that visit flowers. Animals or insects that transfer pollen are called “pollinators”.
Why help Pollinators?
• Pollinators are vital to maintaining healthy ecosystems. Plants cannot produce seeds or fruits without being pollinated.
• About 75% of all flowering plant species utilize a mammal, bird or insect to transport their pollen from flower to flower.
• Pollinated plants provide up to 1/3 of all the foods and beverages we consume.
Who are the Pollinators?
• About 250,000 species of beneficial insects are pollinators. These include flies, beetles, wasps, ants, butterflies, moths, and bees.
• Bees are by far the most effective pollinators because they feed only on flowers.
• Honeybees are very important to commercial agriculture, but native bees like the mason bees are better and more efficient pollinators of native plants. Solitary bees like orchard mason bees do not typically sting nor are typically aggressive.
How can I Help Pollinators?
• Landscaping with native flowering plants is the best way to supply pollinators with nectar, pollen, and homes. In turn, the native pollinating insects make a great food resource for the birds around your home.
o Visit https://www.nwf.org/NativePlantFinder/Plants in order to find native plants for our area.
• Avoid using herbicides or pesticides as they are toxic to beneficial pollinating insects. Natural predators such as birds, bats and other insects will help keep pest populations under control.
o Nesting boxes and bat boxes are great ways to attract insect eating birds and bats to your yard!
Encourage native bees (such as Mason Bees) to live around your home by providing nesting structures and native food resources. We carry mason bee houses that will help these pollinators to survive and flourish by supporting the creation of a pollinator friendly environment in your yard.