Top 10 Ways to Help Pollinators
Planting flowers and creating a wildlife-friendly yard with natives plants is more important than you may realize. Even a small garden can make a huge difference as one of the main causes of the decline in pollinator populations is the loss of habitat. Many pollinators have disappeared and others are endangered. Here are ten ways you can help our pollinators:
1. Support the One Flower Project:
Purchase a sunflower seed kit and help start planting the seeds of change one flower, one child, one community at a time.
2. Plant flowers:
Our favorites are sunflowers, penstemon, cosmos, and phacelia.
3. Plant Milkweed:
The monarch butterfly has declined by over 90 percent in just twenty years. One of the main causes of this decline is a lack of milkweed, the species’ only caterpillar host plant. By planting milkweed you will attract beautiful butterflies and provide crucial habitat that will allow their caterpillars to survive.
4. Avoid pesticides:
Even “organic” pesticides can kill bees and are harmful to pollinators. Create a balanced system in your farm and garden to encourage beneficial insects, bacteria, and fungi, and let biology do the heavy lifting for you.
5. Create shelters:
Beyond food and water, bees and pollinators need somewhere to live. You could become a beekeeper or simply install a birdhouse or a “native bee hotel” in your yard. This could be anything from a fancy store-bought hut to a few raspberry canes tied up and left in a corner. Even some bare dirt and dead leaves left alone can serve as a shelter.
6. Protect grasslands:
Native grasslands are critically important for pollinators such as bees and monarch butterflies. These grasslands are filled with native plants that offer nectar and pollen for bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and a wide variety of pollinators.
7. Support farmers that practice sustainable farming:
Vote with your fork! Know where your food comes from. You don’t have to shop at expensive supermarkets – many farmer’s markets and CSA programs (Community Supported Agriculture) are less expensive than “cheap” national chains.
8. Support beekeepers:
Supporting beekeepers is a great way to help encourage healthy pollinator populations. Buy local honey and beeswax products!
9. Get kids involved:
We are losing our solitary, bumblebees, and pollinators at unsustainable rates. It will be up to the next generation to understand their importance and to take action in their conservation. Let’s start now!