Monday, March 16, 2009

Plant a Pollinator Garden

A visit to the first crab apple to come into bloom found both honey bees and native pollinators in great numbers. No, that bright black and yellow striped insect is not a honey bee. Honey bees have a hairy body, not a slick, shiny body like this insect. This is a solitary bee, one of many species of native pollinators. We are learning of the importance of our pollinators, as we are finding that the honey bee and many of the native pollinators are declining in numbers. The pollinators, including birds, bats, and insects, are necessary for the production of one third of the food we humans eat. We consider the honey bee to be the most important of the pollinators, as it accomplishes the vast majority of our agricultural pollination needs.

The pollinators are in decline due to urbanization and agricultural practices causing a loss of habitat, the decrease in the number of native plants, and the increased use of pesticides, herbicides, and chemicals. Is there anything that we can do to help reverse the loss of pollinators? A simple step that many of us can take is to plant a pollinator garden. This is merely a plot of your favorite plants that you choose from a list of bee-friendly plants. It may take the form of a flower bed in your lawn, a landscape planting, or a kitchen culinary herb garden. To protect the pollinators, we must prudently restrict the use of pesticides and chemicals.

The National Academies of Science web site may help you plan your pollinator garden. It is located at
Beekeepers are trying to provide for a healthy population of both honey bees and native pollinators.

No comments:

Post a Comment