Welcome to EMSWCD’s Nature Notes series! Nature Notes shares small moments and interesting observations from our property, as well as related natural history tidbits, on a weekly to monthly basis.
June 18th, 2018
June 18th-23rd is National Pollinator Week!
This week, EMSWCD is celebrating all the things pollinators do for us, and all the things we can do for them.
Did you know…
- One third to one quarter of our food – and nearly all our flowers – depend on pollinators! Do you want to live in a world without chocolate or coffee? Without roses or honeysuckle? Neither do we.
- Wild pollinators are more efficient than honeybees, so many crops produce higher yields when wild bees are present.
- Wild pollinators are generally less aggressive than honey bees, since most are solitary and don’t have a large hive or store of honey to defend.
What can you do to help pollinators?
- Plant a variety of native flowering plants.
Try to have at least 3 flower species blooming at all times, especially in early spring and late summer/early fall.
- Provide nesting sites and host plants.
Pollinators need places to raise their young, and other food besides necter.
- Provide shelter over the winter
by leaving leaf litter and standing plant stalks.
- Create a watering station – pollinators get thirsty too!
Any puddle or tray with exposed rocks for them perch on will work for most insects, and damp mud or sand on the edge will attract butterflies. If it is shallow enough to dry out every day or two, it won’t breed mosquitoes.
- Don’t use pesticides or insecticides, or buy plants that were treated with them.
Ask your nursery for pesticide-free plants. Some of the most commonly used pesticides, like neoniconitoids, stay in plants for years after they’ve been treated. You don’t want a pollinator garden that is toxic to pollinators!
- Take one of our workshops!
After you’ve turned your yard into a pollinator paradise, you can:
- Learn to identify your native pollinators through the Xerces Society
- Become a citizen scientist at the Northwest Pollinator Initiative
- Register your garden as a Pollinator Garden!