- Pollinators are key for ecosystem function. Life as we know it would not exist without them.
- Bats and birds help but insects pollinate 90% of all flowering plants.
- Creating useful habitat for pollinators is relatively easy due to the scale. Homeowners can make an effective difference with small patches compared to the large areas needed to conserve animal species
- Studies suggest wild pollinators prefer to forage on native plants (but not exclusively)
- Studies suggest that wild pollinators prefer to forage on straight species compared to cultivars (but not exclusively, and some cultivars outcompete the straight species)
- Overall, maximizing diversity and continuous blooms throughout the season are the ultimate goals.
- Habitat plants are important for supporting all stages of pollinator life. Plants for larval stages to feed on and natural areas with protected spaces (leaf litter and dead plant material) for overwintering and nest building.
- Try to eliminate the use of pesticides. Attracting beneficial bugs (the pest predators) should help to compensate anyways.
- BYOB - Build your own bee hotel. Hollow stems from plants or bamboo stakes encased in a wood structure, or even holes drilled into blocks of wood, can be a decent option if you have limited debris for solitary pollinators to "rent".
Suggested Reading List
Heinrich, Bernd - Bumblebee Economics
The Xerces Society - Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America's Bees & Butterflies
Links go to plant listings in our online plant catalog