Celebrate National Pollinator Month
June is National Pollinator month, and it’s the perfect time to give bees, birds, and bats a little recognition. Pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, play a big part in getting our gardens to grow.
Did you know, Honeybees are directly responsible for pollinating one third of the food we eat? They help fertilize flowers, carrying pollen from one plant to another in exchange for food.
So how can we give back to the creatures that do so much for us? We’ve compiled three easy ways you can celebrate pollinators:
1. Plant a Pollinator-friendly Garden
To keep your garden beautiful, you can attract pollinators by planting nectar-rich flowers that appeal to them. Try adding native plants to an existing garden or creating a whole new garden specifically for pollinators. Choose plants that bloom at different times throughout the year, providing long-term food and shelter. To keep blooms going, be sure to fertilize with Van Wilgen’s slow-release fertilizer and Bloom Booster.
Adding Echinaceas and Rudbeckias to the perennial border is one way to attract Swallowtails and Painted Ladies. Plus, providing host plants like parsley and dill is a great to keep these two returning. The butterflies will use the herbs to lay their eggs and provide for young caterpillars, repeating the cycle.
Pollinators are also attracted to a wide variety of other perennials, annuals and shrubs including Back n Blue Salvia, Lantana, Verbena, Vermillionaire, buddleia, zinnia, Black-eyed Susan, Butterfly Weed, Nepeta, Yarrow, Foxglove, Lupine and Lavender just to name a few. You could easily fill an entire garden with pollinator plants, so stop by the Garden Center for additional plant recommendations.
2. Build a Bee Hotel
Solitary bees, bees that live alone and not in hives, need a place to make their nests. Welcome these gentle bees to your garden by adding a bee hotel. Solitary bees don’t make honey and rarely sting. Females lay their eggs inside a small hollow tube and then they patch the door with mud. DIY or purchase a bee hotel at your local independent garden center to encourage pollinators to check-in to your garden.
3. Increase Feather Pollinator Population
Insects aren’t the only pollinators around town. Hummingbirds are also great pollinators. Hang a Hummingbird feeder in your yard to encourage our feathered friends to stop by. The plants that are pollinated by Hummingbirds tend to produce more nectar than plants pollinated by insects, hanging a feeder will pay off in the long run.