Learn / Ask The Landscape Professional
Last week I wrote about the dire decline in our bee population, and this week I'm addressing what you can do to help all of our pollinators.
To many people, bees and other insects that fly around are
alarming and potential stinging threats. But before you reach for
that spray can of insecticide, you need to pause because your
actions could wipe out a local group of essential pollinators.
Pollination is the movement of pollen grains between two
flowers or within a single flower for fertilization and fruit (seed)
production to occur. While we often think of bees as pollinators,
there are over 200,000 species of bees, butterflies, moths,
beetles, flies, birds and other animals that act as pollinators for
75-90% of the world's flowering plants. One third of the food
we eat has come directly or indirectly from plants pollinated by
insects and animals. Without pollination, we wouldn't have any
food crops. As far as bees are concerned, most kinds of bees
don't sting. While female bees are capable of stinging, they
don't unless they are physically threatened. Avoid disturbing
any bees, learn to live with them around and, in fact, encourage
them into your garden.
Many of our pollinators are threatened and there are a number of
things you can do to help.
Attract more pollinators into your yard. Plant a wide diversity
of native plants that flower throughout
the spring, summer and fall. You can watch my hour-long lecture
on "Pollinator Friendly Landscapes" on your computer by accessing our
Provide water for butterflies, bees, birds and other wildlife.
Refresh the container often so it
doesn't become a breeding spot for mosquitoes.
Avoid using pesticides; let the birds do it. Birds eat
all kinds of insects and keep the insect
population under control.
Our essential pollinators are under attack from a variety of
sources, but with your understanding and
protection, you can make a big difference.
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About Linda Lillie
Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier
landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry
service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of
Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national
award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.