Supporting Pollinators

I am often ask how to best support pollinators. I love this question and I decided to write this blog to help educate folks about how everyone of us can support pollinators! First lets identify who the pollinators are: bees (social and solitary), moths, butterflies, wasps, flies, beetles, and there are more! For the purpose of this blog, we are talking about the ones listed above-though all of these steps can help all pollinators.

Supporting pollinators is crucial for the health of ecosystems and our food supply. There are steps we can all take to support pollintors. Whether or not you own a home, live in an apartment, have no yard, or live on a farm. Here are 10 ways you can help support pollinators:

  1. Plant a pollinator-friendly garden:
    • Choose a variety of native flowers, shrubs, and trees that bloom throughout the seasons to provide continuous food sources for pollinators.
    • Include a diverse range of flower shapes and colors to attract different types of pollinators.
    • Visit your local nursery or nature center to learn about native plant options for your region.
  2. Avoid pesticide use:
    • Bees and other pollinators are declining due to pesticide use. Pollinators are exposed to these toxic chemicals through pollen, nectar, dust, dew droplets on plant leaves and in the soil where pollinators nest.
    • Learn about and use integrative pest management
    • Seriously, just stop. Pesticides run off your lawn and into our waterways. We cannot eat fish from rivers because they are contaminated.
    • Check out this list that shows a scary bunch of contaminats found in our water
  3. Provide nesting sites:
    • Create habitat for native bees by leaving patches of bare soil, providing bundles of hollow stems, or building bee houses for solitary bees.
    • Leave the leaves alone in the Fall! Tiny insects will over winter in them. They will decompose and enirch your soil. It’s a win win!
  4. Support native plants:
    • Native plants have co-evolved with local pollinators and are often more attractive and beneficial to them than non-native species.
    • Native plants use less water, reduce air pollution, require less water
  5. Reduce or eliminate lawn areas:
    • Lawns provide little to no benefit for pollinators. Consider replacing some of your lawn with pollinator-friendly plants.
  6. Reduce mowing frequency:
    • Leave wildflower areas to grow undisturbed for longer periods to provide nectar and pollen sources for pollinators.
    • Educate yourself on why you will have less pests when you mow less often!
  7. Avoid excessive garden tidiness:
    • Allow leaves and plant debris to accumulate in your garden to provide overwintering habitats for pollinators.
    • Leave the leaves for pollinators to nest in over winter.
  8. Support local organic farming:
    • Choose organic produce and support local, organic farmers who use practices that are less harmful to pollinators and the environment.
  9. Educate others:
    • Learn about the importance of pollinators and share information with your friends and community to raise awareness.
  10. Get involved in conservation efforts:
    • Join or support organizations dedicated to pollinator conservation and participate in local initiatives to protect pollinators and their habitats.
    • Volunteer locally at organizations working toward these goals
    • Support these organizations with your money! Purchase from them, buy yearly passes, donate money, attend events, etc.

By taking these steps, you can make a positive impact on pollinator populations and contribute to a healthier, more biodiverse environment