Imagine a world without strawberries, watermelons, or chocolate. We rely on pollinators like butterflies, birds, and bees for the foods that we eat. Bees gather nectar to make honey and colorful pollen for later use. When bees and other pollinators gather nectar and pollen, they transfer pollen to other plants helping them to produce fruit and vegetables. Pollinators in our neighborhoods are in trouble since the food, shelter, and water that they need to live and raise young is disappearing.
How can we help pollinators?
Pollinators need food, water, and shelter. We can make our environment pollinator friendly by planting flowers in groups to keep pollinators safe, making sure there are sources of water, providing shelters like hives, and leaving areas of soil uncovered for ground-nesting insects.
We often plan our gardens for spring and summer blooms, but autumn blooms help pollinators as they prepare for winter. Right now the green classroom is blooming with zinnias, cosmos, marigolds, milkweed, and globe amaranth (pictured). Other plants you can plant for a colorful, pollinator friendly garden in the autumn are aster, black eyed Susan, coneflower, lantana, and helenium.
What types of pollinators can be found in your area? Print out the pollinator assessment form and explore your environment to discover the types of pollinators that live your neighborhood and the resources they have to keep them healthy and happy.
For more information on the important role of pollinators in our lives, check out these videos:
Like fruit? Thank a bee.
The Beauty of Pollination—Wings of Life