June 19-25 Is Pollinator Week

The US Department of Agriculture and the US Department of the Interior has designated June 19-25, 2017, as National Pollinator Week.

More than one third of all plants or plant-based products consumed by humans are dependent on various insects, such as bees and butterflies, for pollination. Increasing evidence shows these insect pollinators are disappearing at alarming rates. This trend can be linked to loss of habitat, diseases, pests, or pesticides.

Here are some things you can do to protect pollinators on your property:

  • Plant a pollinator garden. Choose a variety of native flowers of different shapes and colors that bloom at different times to provide a diverse and continuous pollen source.
  • Provide a nesting habitat. Maintain a small, undisturbed patch of bare ground, which can provide nesting habitat for ground nesting bees. Leaving downed logs, leaves, and flower stems in less maintained portions of your yard can be used as an overwintering habitat for some pollinators.
  • Limit pesticide use. Pesticides used on your lawn and garden can have damaging effect on more than just the targeted pest. Use natural predators, such as amphibians, birds, and spiders, to get rid of pests. If a pesticide must be used, apply the lowest effective amount in the evening, when bees are not foraging.

For more information about what you can do for the pollinators in your garden, visit the pollinators tab on the MN Dept of Agriculture website.

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