How to Help Pollinators and Beneficial Insects!

How to Help Pollinators and Beneficial Insects!

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June 17th through the 23rd is Pollinator Week!

This annual celebration reminds us of the countless insects that pollinate our fruit and flowers, or just bring beauty to our outdoor spaces! Nature Hills has the lowdown on how you can help support local pollinators and beneficial insects that support us in return!

 

How to Support Pollinators In Your Backyard

There are many ways, large or small, that you can use to give a helping hand to your backyard bees, butterflies, and beneficial insects! This includes wasps, beetles, bats, and other backyard bugs that move pollen around from one plant to another!

Pollinators

  1. Know your growing zone and learn how much sun your planting site has (full sun 6 plus hours a day, part sun/part shade 4-6 hours a day, full shade is less than 4 hours of sun per day)
  2. Install Native plants or seed species that your local pollinators recognize and have evolved alongside!
  3. Plant large or small drifts of wildflowers and natives to bring in a wider variety of pollinators while also ensuring something new is blooming every few weeks!
  4. Include a bee watering station, a butterfly puddling bowl, and/or a birdbath. Keep it clean for your beneficial bugs and pollinating birds
  5. Choose plants that bloom from early spring, until the first frost
  6. Create beneficial bee hotels and leaf litter and stick piles in out-of-the-way areas for beneficial insects to lay eggs in and overwinter safely.
  7. Less lawn and more xeric native flowering plants and host plants
  8. Create no-mow and no-spray buffer zones in your backyard, between garden beds, and in unused stretches of the yard, and let natives and ‘'weeds' grow for your backyard pollinators! Even around your Victory and vegetable Gardens, orchards, and berry patches by assisting with pollination!
  9. Reduce your use of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and other chemicals, and always use chemicals according to their directions. Go organic when able or employ integrated pest management to reduce the need for pesticides.

 

Don’t just focus on honeybees either, there are over 4,000 types of North American bees that need our support! Install a bee hotel or leave that patch of clover and dandelions in your lawn a bit longer during the spring before you begin mowing your yard.

 

There are hundreds of types of butterflies that need your support aside from Monarch butterflies. However, do plant Milkweed and other plants that are Host Plants for Pollinator larvae.

Ways to Celebrate Pollinator Week!

Your participation this week doesn’t have to be anything grand! Even the smallest steps towards helping pollinators in your backyard!

  1. Plant one or more flowering plants that flower during crucial times of the year for pollinators - early spring and late fall.
  2. Pot up a planter on your balcony or porch in the sun, or create a window box outside your window.
  3. Remove a strip of lawn and plant native wildflower seeds or native plants
  4. Create a strip of no-mow lawn area, meadows, wildflower patches, or install a small prairie
  5. Join bee and butterfly walks and identification workshops
  6. Leave the leaves! Don't clean up that patch of logs, leaf litter, and wilderness in the back areas of your yard. This allows pollinators and their eggs and larvae to overwinter someplace safe!
  7. Raise your own butterflies with the kids and have a release party
  8. Install a bee hotel or Butterfly hotel
  9. Do less in your yard to do more for pollinators!
  10. Buy local!

 

Even if you just raise awareness among your friends, family, and neighbors - it can be a step towards providing support!

Join The Party!

Join us in celebrating the many creatures that move pollen to help plants make fruit or seeds. Regardless of how you celebrate, you are helping pollinators in a significant way! Head over to Pollinator.org or reach out to a group through your local County Extension Office for ways to get involved more!

 

Read Nature Hills Garden Blogs about Plants that Attract Pollinators, learn how to Create a Butterfly Garden, discover the many types of Beneficial Insects, and unexpected pollinators like Wasps, and Bats, and learn which flowers bring in Butterflies and Pollinators to get started!

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