Where have all the pollinators gone?
It’s a fact – we have fewer honeybees and other pollinating insects now. The causes are not yet known, but here are some things you can do to help these beneficial insects survive.
- Reduce the amount of insecticide you use in your own garden. Pollinators visit a large number of plants and flowers each day, so their exposure to insecticides is increased if you spray while your plants are in full bloom. We’e not saying you can’t spray, but please use caution and spray only when necessary.
- Provide them with food and water. Plant more flowering plants of the varieties favored by pollinators and make water available during dry weather . The young of many butterflies prefer to eat certain types of plants ( such as fennel, parsley, and milkweed ). This nursery planting will allow more of them to survive to adulthood, and will be entertaining for you and your children to watch.
- Give them shelter. Many pollinators don’t need your help with this, but the bees will be more likely to pollinate your flowers if they have a safe home nearby. If you provide the hive you can also harvest the honey!
- Hire your own staff of pollinators. Bee keeping is a serious hobby for dedicated people, but the rewards are sweet and real. We suggest starting with a good basic book on bee keeping, such as Bee Keeping for Dummies, or find a local bee keeper who is willing to let you learn from them, then check with us for the supplies you will need to start your own hive!