As we embrace warm temperatures and focus on spending time outside, we realize how important it is to have pollinators visiting our gardens, plants, trees and shrubs. So with pollinators in mind, we’ve put together some information on how vital these creatures are and how you can support them in your community.
What are pollinators?
Pollinators are creatures that drive pollination. Pollination is the first step in plant reproduction, making seeds, fruit and the next generation of plants. Pollinators include bees, small mammals, wasps, beetles, butterflies, moths, bats and birds. These creatures help seeds, fruit and the next generation of plants grow, establish and develop. Ever found a tree growing in a flower bed that you didn’t plant? Perhaps a squirrel or bird or insect is responsible. There could be a hundred different reasons for how a seed or plant grew where it did. The majority are deposited there by a pollinator.
Why are they important?
These creatures are necessary for everyone’s survival. They help ensure the survival of plants. Approximately 75 to 85% of all flowering plants on the planet need help with pollination. This means that the over 180,000 plant species and over 1200 crop varieties need assistance from pollinators to produce seeds, fruit, plants and other offspring. Pollinators help ensure a thriving ecosystem. Experts estimate that ⅓ of all food is created and produced by the assistance provided by pollinators.
How can you support pollinators?
Without support from you, pollinators are decreasing in numbers. Reasons for the declining pollinator populations include chemical use like herbicides and pesticides, loss of habitat and nesting grounds, loss of food, diseases and changes in climate. With your support, we can support the pollinators and work to ensure there is a place in the world for pollinators. They’re necessary in order to ensure plants and we survive!
Building pollinator-friendly habitats is vitally important. Pollinator-friendly environments include farms and natural habitat where pollinators, like bees and butterflies, can live, pollinate and thrive. In order to support pollinators, you want to ensure to plan specific types of plants in the right spot. Avoid using pesticides and herbicides in your gardens. This ensures pollinators aren’t exposed
Here are some great ideas you can easily implement at home:
- Plant a variety of flowering plants that bloom in early spring to the end of fall.
- Choose plants native to your area
- Group native plants together
- Add a water source to your garden
- Add veggies and herbs to your garden
- Mow your grass less often, especially in May. Early flowering plants like dandelions and clover help pollinators get started in the spring. Not mowing your lawn means these early flowering plants are available to pollinators as food sources.
Want to learn more about supporting pollinators? Visit https://beecitycanada.org/tips-for-protecting-pollinators/. This website is full of tips on how to support pollinators and welcome these creatures into your space.
City Life and Pollinators
Even if you live in the city, you can support pollinators. Pollinators like bees thriving in city spaces as well. They love balconies full of plants, rooftop garden space, backyards, lawns, community gardens, vacant lots and alleys. Wherever flowering plants can be found, you should find pollinators making their home nearby.
With everyone’s help, we can ensure our ecosystem is supporting each creature required, including pollinators. These small creatures are responsible for so much, including food production, flowers, fruit, seed and pollination. All they ask from us is having flowering plants around in Spring, Summer and Fall. Supporting pollinators are easy but will mean a few small changes, like not using chemicals on your property, waiting to mow your lawn and planting pollinator-friend plants. We know we’re doing everything we can to support the pollinators. Join us in making a pollinator-friendly garden!