Why Pollinators Matter – Easy Ways to Support Them in Your Yard

Last week the EPA’s Administrator issued a proclamation announcing June 17th to the 23rd as National Pollinator Week. My thoughts? It’s about time! One third of our food supply requires pollination. And that’s not even counting food that our wildlife eats.

How to Help Our Pollinator Friends

We all know we should plant more pollinator-friendly flowers but are there other things we can do to help? You bet!

Our pollinators also need a chemical-free water source–a pond or even a birdbath

Place birdbaths in shaded areas to help keep water from overheating. Replace the water every couple of days to keep mosquitoes from breeding. Clean the birdbath occasionally to remove any algae buildup. Not only will birds love it, but bees and butterflies will, too.

We can avoid using pesticides, if possible

If a product can kill a mosquito, it can also kill a pollinator! You want to reduce mosquito problems, then get rid of standing water where they lay their eggs (good reason for cleaning your birdbath).

Whenever possible, incorporate native plants into your landscape

After all, they are the original plants our pollinators expect to be here. And watch your colors. Bees seem to prefer blues, yellows, whites and purples (they can’t see the color red), while hummingbirds DO prefer reds and pinks. Butterflies seem to like purples and reds the best. And moths like flowers that bloom at night (moonflowers, etc.) and/or are fragrant at night.

Plant a Variety of Flowers

By planting a variety of flowers, you can attract a variety of pollinators. And be sure to remove dying flowers (deadheading) to encourage your flowers to produce more “new” flowers.

Remember pollinators are hungry ALL summer so while you should certainly enjoy spring blooming flowers, be sure to plant other flowers that bloom all summer.

Caterpillars Become Butterflies

We also need to remember that butterflies, for example, need to be thought of BEFORE we see them flying about the yard. Plant some plants as “host” plants for their caterpillars. If we want butterflies, their babies have to eat.

How to Celebrate National Pollinator Week

Let’s celebrate National Pollinator Week every week by taking care of the pollinators who take care of us!

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