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Please Help by Sharing What You Do to Help Our Pollinators  RSS feed

 
garden master
Posts: 1826
Location: USDA Zone 8a
303
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Pollinators are the bees, butterflies, moths, bats, birds and various insects that, in the course of collecting food from various plants, also pollinate them, which is essential to producing fruit and vegetables.

Sometimes we tend to forget about the smaller things in life that really do make the world go round. Just as wildlife has suffered, so have the birds, bees, butterflies and other insects. Pollinators must have two things in their habitat: somewhere to nest and flowers to gather nectar and pollen.

Do you provide food for the Pollinators?

In many landscapes, people have started using ornamental rather than flowers so many flowers are only found on roadsides,  field edge or in wild areas. If you provide flowers, you are improving the environment for pollinators. This foraging area not only helps the bees and butterflies that pollinate these plants, but also results in beautiful garden.

Insects such as bees and butterflies are needed for producing much of our food the majority of our fruits, vegetables and nuts.
Many of these pollinators, especially wild ones such as bumblebees, are in trouble.

What can you do?

1. Reduce or eliminate insecticide use.

2. Diversify plantings. Plant flowers and other pollinator-friendly plants — flowers, shrubs, trees, herbs and grasses — everywhere.
Plant a mixture. Pollinators need a variety of plants that bloom at different times (early, mid-season and late) and with different flower types, such as tubular or composite, like sunflower

3. Provide nesting habitat.  This could be trees, shrubs or nest boxes.

4. Provide clean water. Put the water in a shallow dish, bowl or birdbath with half-submerged stones for perches.













 
pollinator
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Eliminate mowing. Provides food and habitat. Mowing also kills caterpillars, etc.

Easiest thing to do, cause you do nothing.
 
Posts: 120
Location: Middle Georgia
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Anne Miller wrote:
Provide clean water. Put the water in a shallow dish, bowl or birdbath with half-submerged stones for perches.



I planted Echinacea this year and boy did the pollinators love it! One bumble bee was sleeping under the flower.  When I looked carefully I realized each Echinacea flower is actually made up of several dozen tiny yellow flowers that bloom over a period of several weeks. That is what keeps the pollinators coming back again and again.

Next spring I want to add a little pool (ideally with a solar bubbler) to attract dragon flies to the vegetable garden. I watched a video on how dragon flies (and damsels) are awesome pest predators and the water source attracts them. They lay eggs in pools and their aquatic babies eat mosquito larva.

 
pollinator
Posts: 10111
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Joined the Xerces Society:  https://xerces.org/

Planting about an acre total of native seeds this season.  Starting tomorrow to work on a display Pollinator Habitat along the county road, which will feature this nifty sign from the Xerces Society:



I will update with progress on this project.
 
pollinator
Posts: 418
Location: mountains of Tennessee
65
bee chicken homestead
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I always have several pounds of native wildflowers, clovers, & buckwheat in my car with my beekeeping gear. Sometimes bird seeds too. Any bare spot of soil I see anywhere gets some. I throw quite a bit around every time I visit the apiaries, go hiking, or just wander around natural areas. I plant it in & around my vegetable gardens. I spread it anywhere it seems suitable to do so. Which is pretty much everywhere. It's almost a daily ritual. I have some hummingbird feeders but they much prefer the flowers in the garden. I see many pollinators of all sorts every day. Some of my bees are in an unused pasture that is part of a native species & animal restoration project. Next year that pasture & the surrounding area will get a huge wildflower boost from that organization. I'm learning about breeding & releasing butterflies & hope to pursue that next year.

Pesticides. Not in my world. I persuade people each & every year to stop doing that. Give them a sample then ... You like real honey eh? Then please stop killing the bees. It works.
 
Anne Miller
garden master
Posts: 1826
Location: USDA Zone 8a
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Thanks everyone for sharing.  I found these today, they are neat idea!








 
Posts: 113
Location: PNW
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books food preservation homestead cooking tiny house trees urban
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Mike, where do you get your seeds from?

Anyone have any suggestions for having standing water that doesn't breed mosquitoes?  That's a real problem with my homestead.
 
pollinator
Posts: 320
Location: SF Bay Area
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In my mild climate, I try to provide year round food sources. In the case of hummingbirds that typically means various Salvias, the flower shape is perfect for them and we have so many that do so well. A winter favorite is Pineapple Sage or Salvia elegans. The local hummingbirds fight over my yard.

In pruning, I try not to take all of a plant, like with borage. I wait until another one is blooming, or only cut back half of an old one.

And, I plant a variety of flower types to appeal to different pollinators. The very large bumble bees like large squash blossoms. Small native bees like open blossoms like zinnias. honey bees love thyme.

Since I've been paying attention to all of this, my yard has come alive. Birds, butterflies, dragonflies, bees, I love it.
 
Mike Barkley
pollinator
Posts: 418
Location: mountains of Tennessee
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Mike, where do you get your seeds from? 



The clovers & buckwheat comes from a nearby farm co-op. Some wildflowers I get from a TN native landscape place & some I simply collect from the wild. There's often some dandelions included in my seed mix too.
 
Anne Miller
garden master
Posts: 1826
Location: USDA Zone 8a
303
bee dog food preservation greening the desert hunting cooking purity trees
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Sonja Draven wrote:Anyone have any suggestions for having standing water that doesn't breed mosquitoes?  That's a real problem with my homestead.



We change our water every day.  That way it is not standing so any eggs/larva or what ever they are called gets washed out.

Some more inspiration:








 
Posts: 132
Location: Australia, New South Wales. Köppen: Cfa (Humid Subtropical), USDA: 10/11
18
cat chicken forest garden homestead hugelkultur cooking trees urban
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In addition to introduced trees and shrubs that regularly flower, and herbs like Rosemary, we also have several heavy flowering native species in the front and backyard – mainly Callistemon (Bottlebrush), native rock orchid, Banksia and Macadamia. So there's something flowering 365 days a year, inclusive of 'weeds'.

It’s Spring here so the Bottlebrush are in full bloom, attracting bees, moths, birds and too many Flying Fox.

Since we don’t spray, there’s lots of native bees and wasps floating around too. A large proportion of the lot is set aside for native bush garden, so that also provides habitat for the ground-dwelling bees. Mud-dauber wasps build their mud cocoons everywhere as too do the Paper Wasps – mainly under the eaves and do a good job of keeping spiders at bay.

Besides the water containers for the chickens, and a large bird bath, I also leave an old glass vase with a stick sitting in it for bugs to get a drink – the stick allows them to escape if they fall in … it works too! The garden must be healthy, a few months ago there were frogs in the chicken water dish – much to the dismay of the chooks – and there are ones living in the stormwater pits and pipes!
 
Posts: 64
Location: On the plateau in TN
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Almost every thing I have so far is on paper.

2019 season plant to plant nasturiums, french marigold, sunflowers, possibly others.  I currently have a mint growing well in a outside bucket, and possibly a second bucket.  Planted out chives, and Lemon Thyme (two days ago).

Here's two seed packets I purchased that will plant in roughly 5 ft sq beds each.

1910 Edible Beauties:

ANNUALS:
Common Arugula Eruca vesicaria
Borage Borago officinalis
Calendula Calendula officinalis ‘Fiesta Gitana’
Bachelor's Button Centaurea cyanus ‘Polka Dot’
Florence Fennel Foeniculum vulgare
Basil Ocimum basilicum ‘Genovese’
Radish Raphanus sativus ‘Cherry Belle’
Signet Marigold Tagetes tenuifolia ‘Starfire’
Nasturtium Tropaeolum minus ‘Whirlybird’

PERENNIALS:
Chives Allium schoenoprasum
Johnny-Jump-Up Viola tricolor ‘Helen Mount’

1911 precious Pollinators:
ANNUALS:
Borage Borago officinalis
Dill Anethum graveolens
Cosmos Cosmos sulphureus ‘Bright Lights’
Sunflower Helianthus annuus ‘Lemon Queen’
Sunflower Helianthus annuus ‘Velvet Queen’
Lemon Bee Balm Monarda citriodora
Phacelia Phacelia tanacetifolia
Scarlet Sage Salvia coccinea
Marigold Tagetes patula ‘Naughty Marietta’
Red Clover Trifolium incarnatum
Zinnia Zinnia elegans ‘California Giants Mix’

PERENNIALS:
Milkweed Asclepias tuberosa
Lance-leaved Coreopsis Coreopsis lanceolata
Purple Coneflower Echinacea purpurea
Smooth Aster Symphyotrichum laeve
 
Posts: 3
Location: Minneapolis & McGregor Minnesota
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I posted earlier today about how hugelkulturs provide critical habitat for native bees.  I consider this to be an important contribution everyone with access to a yard can make.  Keep planting flowers!  The hummingbirds and bees were all over my red centered cone flower exactly one minute after I took it out of the car!  Joe Pye Weed provides privacy for you and is a good friend to the pollinators.  That is just one example.  Thyme as ground cover helps.  The University of Minnesota Bee Lab has a ton of information on the subject. https://www.beelab.umn.edu/

Thank you for this important post!!
 
Posts: 68
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Killing two birds with one stone: allow your vegetables to flower. You get seeds and you get beneficial benefits. Parsnip in flower is parasitoid heaven, as are most of the Apiaceae. The name kind of gives it away

Apiaceae are fantastic companions for trees as well. The roots drill into heavy soils allowing drainage and root penetration for other species.

Might be getting a hive here in the next week or so. I've said yes, but people change their mind so hoping the apiarist doesn't.

I use fish for mosquito control, and duckweed/positioning for temperature control. My 'insect water' is an approximately 14 ft stainless steel sink with strategically placed rocks. It uses sunlight to make duckweed which fixes its own nitrogen via bacteria. It gets minerals from litter from the hedge it is beneath. The duckweed is chook food. The bacteria covered litter is compost food. The mossies are fish food. The fish are chook food. The insects drink...

 
No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. This time, do it with this tiny ad:
Tomatoes! Ha! Anyone can grow that. Amaze your neighbors, grow your own shirt!
https://permies.com/wiki/92731/fiber-arts/Homegrown-Linen-transforming-flaxseed-fibre
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