Helping the Pollinators

The weather is warmer and the days are longer, and the pollinators are out! Some of the typical pollinators that people will think of are butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds but there are actually more than just those! There are numerous types of flies that pollinate as well as beetles, moths, and even wasps. Fossil records actually suggest that an earwig-like beetle called a tillyardembi is the oldest pollinator!
So what can we do to help preserve and care for our pollinators?
Let’s break it down into three simple steps!

1) “No Mow May” Patch

Over the past few years, a trend called “No Mow May” has really taken off in many neighborhoods. The purpose of it is to let the dandelions, clover, grass, etc get long and bloom for the pollinator and other small creatures that live in our yard. However, some people opt out because mowing an overgrown yard can be difficult, costly, and might even ruin your lawn mower (adding to that costly aspect).
So what’s a way you can participate but still have an overall maintained yard?
You can have a patch!
The most fun part about this is you can make it any size, shape, or pattern you want. Many people will also add a little sign or a fence to the area.
A simple and effective way to increase the amount of pollinators visiting your yard while also adding more color and flowers is to start adding native plants to your yard. Giant Hyssop attracts hummingbirds, Little Bluestem grass hosts butterfly larva, Trumpet Honeysuckle attracts all pollinators but especially bees, and Beebalm especially attracts bees.

2) “Bee Hotels”

bee hotels

Bee hotels are a fun way to make little houses for solitary bees. You can either buy them pre-made, buy a kit, or make them entirely from scratch! Bee hotels are not only an amazing way to increase the amount of bees in your garden and to give back to our pollinators who do so much for us but they’re also a super cute addition to any garden. It’s important to note that because a bee hotel helps solitary bees, you don’t need to worry about a hive forming!

3) “Trees”

peach tree blossom

Yes, trees flower! Of course we all know about the ornamental and fruit trees (crabapple, peach, cherry, magnolia, etc.) which bees love! But remember – No pesticide use. It kills the bees.
And some ornamentals are attractive to invasive bug species, so check it out before you plant. But did you know that trees such as the Sugar Maple, Willows, Tupelo trees, the Redbud, Sumac and Little Leaf Linden to name a few are also primary sources of food for the pollinators? These trees provide springtime pollen or nectar, sometimes both. Those early spring flowers on
the maple tree may go unnoticed by us but the bees see them!
Trees also provide undisturbed areas for nesting and overwintering by using leaves, stems, cavities and bare ground. Plants of all kinds play a critical role in keeping our environment healthy for all. Plant Trees!
To find out which native trees are best suited for your property, go to where you’ll find photos and descriptions along with purchasing info.

Links to Check Out

And as always, a link to get involved with the Arbor Day Foundation to help support trees and all they do for us and our environment!


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