It seems not a day goes by that we don’t hear more about the trouble that bees are having. While most of this coverage is about the non-native Honeybee, our native pollinators are in grave danger as well, mostly because we’ve removed or destroyed all of their habitat.
One third of all the food we eat and drink is dependent on pollinators. And pollinators play a crucial role in our natural ecosystems, which provide food for all other wildlife.
Native pollinators come in all shapes and sizes, from bumblebees, mason bees, solitary bees, flies, beetles, and butterflies, and your wildlife garden can become a haven for their survival.
I’ve just received a wonderful resource to help you plan your wildlife garden to benefit native pollinators. The Xerces Society Guide to Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies is a beautifully illustrated guide to creating habitat in your wildlife garden that will provide for the year-round needs of these essential insects.
Attracting Native Pollinators has many photographs to help you identify the bees and butterflies in your wildlife garden. It contains exhaustive plant lists to help you choose the best plants for pollinators in your region.
There are guides to providing nesting habitat for each different type of bee, and lists of host plants for many butterfly species. But be careful, learning to identify the various bees and other pollinators in your wildlife garden can become quite addictive, as I can readily attest to.
It seems the more I learn about them, the more I want to learn. The identification section of my copy of this book is becoming quite dog-eared as I try to learn all that I can about helping native pollinators in my wildlife garden.
I can’t wait until it’s finally spring so that I can add some more habitat for pollinators in my garden!
What are you doing to attract native pollinators to your wildlife garden?
Carole Sevilla Brown lives in Philadelphia, PA, and she travels the country speaking about Ecosystem Gardening for Wildlife. Check out her new free online course Ecosystem Gardening Essentials, 15 free lessons delivered to your inbox every week.
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