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Save the Pollinators

March 28, 2017

Ideas of how to make pollinators feel more at home, near your home.

Cheerios may be in the spotlight now for its #BringBacktheBees program which is mailing seed packets across the nation to homeowners who are interested in preserving native pollinators. The problem is the website does not list the scientific names of the specific wildflower seeds, generalized names such a “poppy” or “wildflower” raises red flags for nature enthusiasts who are aware of the threat some species may bring.

While we can’t say for sure if these seeds are a threat to Florida, we have some alternative methods to ensuring Florida pollinators hang around.

  1. Plant your own wildflowers

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    If you like the idea of having wildflowers around, try planting some Florida natives. You can find these at your local nursery or even large box stores. Nurseries are inspected annually for pests and diseases. So buying through a nursery or store is recommended. Visit the Florida Wildflower Foundation which has an index of flowers and what they attract. By planting flowers, you get a beautiful view and the pollinators get a new playground.

  2. Create a nesting sitewood-325150_640

    Not all pollinators nest in the same way. Some dig underground, some call tree stumps or unpruned shrubs home. But it’s safe to say that most pollinators like undisturbed areas. Leave a patch of land in your yard undisturbed. It will keep your yard work to a minimum and do some good for our pollinators.

  3. Limit or avoid the use of pesticides

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    Pesticides might rid you of your problematic pests; however, they may also rid you of your helpful pollinators. Consider limiting your use of pesticides to a bare minimum and encouraging native natural predators.

  4. Keep your flowers blooming

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    Planting native wildflowers isn’t the only thing you can do. To ensure the prosperity of your insect friends, arrange your garden so you have something in bloom year round. Pollinators need to feed year round, not just in spring.

  5. Provide clean waterwater-187880_640

    Insects need water, too. By filling a shallow dish with water and adding a few half submerged stones, you’re giving insects a landing pad to get to the water.

  6. Build a bee condomason-bee-281185_640

    Some bees prefer solitude over colonies; thus, making a bee condo will attract a variety of pollinators, including the mason bees. They are solitary workers and can pollinate more effectively than honey bees. A bee condo can be made quickly and can be mounted on a post or the side of a building. Find the instructions here and make one of your own today.

  7. Get your own bee hivebees-1631206_640

    Backyard beekeeping is popular and legal in Florida. You must register your hive through the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry, Bureau of Plant and Apiary Inspection; find out more information by attending meetings here or at your local bee club.

  8. Encourage otherstree-1574165_640

To quote Michael Jackson, “If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make the change.” Share your progress with your friends, show them the impact you’ve made and why they should take action, too. Tag us on Facebook @FDACSDPI or Twitter @FLPlantIndustry and show us what you’ve done.

Every little bit helps pollinator populations.

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