June 18-24 is National Pollinator Week. All over the United States planned activities take place to help pollinators thrive - birds, bees, beetles, moths, and butterflies to name a few.
Pollinators are important because, aside from the fact that agriculture is the number one industry in New York State, we like to eat. Over 70 percent of all food crops depend on pollinators to produce their flowers, their harvest and seeds. Over 75 percent of all plants in the wild and in protected habitats, in our landscaping and for other agricultural uses depend on pollinators.
Plants and pollinators cooperate to protect each other. Pollinators help plants reproduce and plants offer pollinators nourishment and safe shelter to rest and nest.
Want something simple to do during National Pollinator Week or anytime you’re moved to help pollinators?
In a garden spot, large or small, choose native plants that attract native pollinators. Native plants provide the right food and shelter for the pollinators with whom live here in WNY. Pollinator-friendly plants for our area can be found athttp://www.pollinator.org/guides.htm. This site is easy to use. Just plug in your zip code.
Plant in clumps rather than in single plants. You’ll attract more pollinators. Choose plants with a variety of colors and shapes. This way you’ll attract a variety of pollinators.
And always avoid the use of dangerous pesticides and herbicides. There are non-toxic solutions to garden problems.
It’s pretty amazing to see how quickly pollinators arrive when you give them an attractive reason to come. Butterflies seem to be the first to arrive in my garden. When the bees come don’t be afraid. They want the plant, not you, and more bees than you’d imagine don’t sting. But if getting stung is very dangerous for you, be sure to use extreme caution. Hint for everyone: don’t wear yellow.
Ok, it’s corny but ...be merry merry, not contrary, and watch your pollinated garden grow!