“They are perhaps Earth’s most unsung heroes: the bees, butterflies, wasps, flies, and other organisms that maintain balanced ecosystems and thus the health of our food supply through pollination. Native insects, in fact, play a crucial role in pollinating and fertilizing up to 75 percent of plant species on earth, and up to a third of our staple food crops rely upon insects alone to disperse their pollen and fertilize their fruits. Imagine a world without coffee, chocolate, apples, and many other foods that are part of our daily lives. That world likely becomes reality without pollinators.” Source: A Guide to Pollinators. Seedsavers.org
The bad news is that pollinators, so important to biological diversity and our food supply, are threatened worldwide. The good news is that individuals can play an important role in protecting pollinators. It is simple, rewarding, and important.
- Grow a variety of bee-friendly flowers that bloom from spring through fall.
- Don’t forget to plant caterpillar host plants.
- Avoid using pesticides, especially insecticides.
- Consider adding a nest for native bees to your garden.