Insect pollinator populations are declining and it is time to start looking at our landscapes differently. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture states that “More than one third of all plants or plant products consumed by humans are in some way dependent on insects for pollination.” What can we do to help?
First, we can choose plants that pollinators like and always have something available for them from March through September. Plants include pussy willow, lupine, goatsbeard, cone flower and many more. The U of M has a great list of plants Plants for MN Bees. In addition to choosing pollinator plants we can also leave some areas of our yard undisturbed for nesting areas and swap large areas of green lawn and all green, non-flowering shrubs for more gardens with pollinator friendly plants.
Finally, we also need to reduce the pesticides we use and choose less toxic alternatives. For more information see the Pollinator Best Practices for MN Yards and Gardens.
Also check out the BeeSmart Pollinator Gardener app.
*Photo courtesy of the Pollinator Alliance.