Simple Steps to Help Pollinators

Pollinators are essential to the majority of flowering plants in our environment, including many food plants.  Plants need pollinators, in particular bees but also butterflies, flies, moths, beetles, wasps and birds to move pollen from one plant to another.  When pollinators are under attack, our food supply is threatened.

Pollinators are endangered for a number of reasons, including disease, destruction of habitat, and the overuse of chemicals.

Doing our part to protect pollinators need not be overwhelming.  Small steps such as these can have a big impact:

*Plant flowers that bloom April – October when pollinators are out.

*Plant annuals, here are some ideas:  https://extension.umn.edu/flowers-pollinators/annual-flowers-pollinators

*Native plants have evolved to attract pollinators and provide food and habitat. Plant bee friendly plants.  A list of plants that attract bees can be found here: https://www.beelab.umn.edu/bees/flowers/plants-mn-bees

*Chemicals used to control insects, fungus or weeds in yards may be toxic to bees and other pollinators.  Setting aside even a small portion of your yard as a chemical free zone is helpful. 

*Dandelions provide much needed early spring food for bees, so leave a few in your lawn.

*Use bee friendly plants in your lawn.  Dutch white clover not only provides nutrients for your soil, but their flowers are a food source for bees.

*Plant milkweed.  Try plants that are less invasive than common milkweed such as swamp milkweed.  For a list of varieties see: https://www.growmilkweedplants.com/minnesota.html

*Provide shelter for bees by leaving long stems standing during your fall clean up. 

*Try pocket planting.  Planting a small space with native plantings is not only easy to maintain but can provide a habitat for pollinators.  For more info:https://bluethumb.org/native-plant-gardens/pocket-plantings/

3 thoughts on “Simple Steps to Help Pollinators

  1. Hello, my name is Linnea and my neighbor Justin and I are not garden club members but are interested in helping pollinators and wondering if the GV garden club would be willing to join our errordts to make GV a No Mow May city. We contacted our city council rep about this but haven’t heard anything back. I think if we had the Garden Club support it would go a long way in showing support for this simple step other inner ring suburbs have passed that helps pollinators. I’d be happy to share the email I sent to Maurice Harris with you.

    Thanks so much for your consideration.

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      • Hi Linnea, the garden club executive board has discussed this and we will try to schedule a presenter for one of our meetings in winter/spring of 2023. We all feel we need to have more education on the topic of no mow may and this would be a good place to start. We will likely contact the University Bee Lab for referrals for speakers. Thanks for contacting us.

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