Gardening For Pollinators

Much has been made about the honeybees and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). You may have read about the disease, White Nose Fungus, that threatens our native bats. And this winter the monarch habitat shrunk to its lowest acreage of all time.

It’s easy to get discouraged in the face of all this terrible news (never mind the truly devastating news that has come out lately about the climate!) But most of us can only change our little piece of earth.

So rather than give up all hope, I thought I’d focus on different ways to help pollinators in June. This first idea comes from the Home Garden Seed Association and includes a list of flowering plants (annuals, perennials and herbs) that can be grown from seed and that will attract pollinators. Of course you can also plant the plants as well.

Please don’t panic if I say “pollinators.” I don’t just mean bees. Of course that’s what everyone thinks of when they hear pollinators because bees of all sorts are primary pollinators. For an interesting breakdown on what is pollinated by honeybees (non-native bees) and by our native bees, read this.

But there are so many more pollinators besides the bees! There are insects, birds and butterflies and moths. And while I know no one is going to be excited about gardening for ants, wait until I tell you what they “pollinate.” Maybe that will change your mind at least about not pouring poison (or hot water) on every ant hill you see!

So let’s spend June helping our pollinators. They need all the help they can get!

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