Why Attract Pollinators? Read this article to learn the benefits of attracting native, carpenter, bumblebee, and honey bees to your yard. Plant a smorgasbord for Pollinators, and you’ll enjoy a host of beneficial insects. It’s not difficult to attract these creatures, especially if you’ve read this article.
Why Attract Pollinators
You can attract pollinators with beautiful flowers. Flowers that are sweet-smelling and have nectar attract bees, butterflies, and other insects. You can choose bright colors for your garden, including blues, purples, violets, whites, and yellows. You can also use rustic window boxes filled with your favorite herbs to attract pollinators. If you have a garden border, consider putting them under cover near your front door.
Pollinators need a variety of nectar-rich plants to thrive. While one plant may attract a slew of insects, clusters of plants will provide a continuous stream of nectar for a longer period of time. You can also plant these plants all year round, so they will attract a variety of pollinators. It will be worth it! So, what’s in it for pollinators?
Native flowering plants are an all-you-can-eat buffet for pollinators. Penstemons, for example, have tubular flowers that attract a variety of pollinators. You can find about 60 species native to Colorado and Wyoming. Some varieties of penstemons are available as horticultural plants. A recipe card is available at the Pollinator Partnership website.
Attract Honey bees
To attract honey bees, plant a variety of flowers in your garden that have sweet-scented, single-flower scents. This will attract bees and butterflies to your yard. Choose a variety that will be hardy and bloom in your area. Honey bees are attracted to blue, purple, and yellow flowers. Try native plants, which are adapted to local climates. Keep in mind that pesticides and fungicides are harmful to pollinators and can also harm butterflies and caterpillar larvae.
For attracting more bees, plant clumps of flowering plants, including native and exotic plants. Plants with broad, daisy-like flowers will attract more bees than narrow clusters of flowers. Flowers with a variety of flower shapes will also attract more bees. Most bee species are generalists, so choosing plants that have a range of flower shapes is beneficial.
Attract native bees
When it comes to flowers that attract bees, native plants are often more attractive than those with exotic names. Choose broad-leaf plants such as sunflowers, prairie sage, and Joe Pye weed, which have fragrant flowers that attract bees. They also enjoy flowering plants that contain a wide range of colors. Other popular plants that attract bees include hyssop, lantana, and sunflower.
To attract pollinators to your garden, you need to plant a variety of nectar-rich plants. Flowering shrubs and trees provide cover for insects, and they also provide nectar and pollen. A flower bed that doesn’t need mowing can make a great habitat for pollinators. Some flowering trees produce many flowers early in the season. Bees and butterflies need nectar and pollen-producing plants throughout the growing season.
Native bees are also important to the ecosystem. While European honeybees are the most important pollinators in agriculture, they also pollinate plants native to their areas. Native bees are increasingly important for pollination in a variety of ecosystems, but their importance is often underestimated. Consider planting a pollinator garden in your backyard to help keep native bees in your neighborhood.
Attract bumblebees and carpenter bees
Plant a smorsbord of pollinator-friendly flowers and shrubs to attract bumblebees and other beneficial pollinators to your yard. Bumblebees love nectar and pollen, and they also benefit from the presence of hummingbirds, which act as pollinators in their own right. Plant a smorsbord of flowering plants, shrubs, and vegetables to attract carpenter bees and bumblebees to your yard.
Several varieties of flowers and herbs attract these species of pollinators. For best results, plant flowers that are native to your area and that are attractive to both bee species. When planting, avoid using chemicals, which can kill beneficial insects. If you’re unsure of what to plant, check out a local garden center and ask for suggestions.
Some plants produce flowers on long stalks. The flowers develop from the bottom up and are more pistillate (female) than staminate (male) flowers. Bumble bees start off at the lower flowers and work their way up to the pollen-rich staminate flowers. If you’re lucky enough to have a lawn where this bloom is common, the bees will be attracted to it.
In order to attract butterflies, you should plant nectar-rich flowers in your yard. Butterflies need nectar early in the season, and fall migrants need it to make the long journey south. Planting nectar-producing plants in your yard is surprisingly easy, and there are plenty of options to choose from, including butterfly bush, a invasive exotic plant that has numerous benefits for pollinators.
To attract butterflies, consider growing lavender or other plants with a wide range of scents. Lungworts are excellent choice for shady areas because they do not self-seed much and are easy to dig up and replant. Be sure to cut back the plant in March so it doesn’t get overcrowded. Plants like common hawthorn will provide pollinators with a year-round smorgasbord.
The butterfly proboscises determine which flowers butterflies feed on. Plant several varieties of the same type in different parts of the yard to provide a diverse food supply. Plant clumps of five or more different types of flowers in a sunny spot. Butterfly-attracting plants have flowers that are large and clustered. You can plant a smorgasbord of flowers near your house or garden and watch the insects come in for a taste.
Hummingbirds are angels of the bird world. They flash colors that are not of this world, and they fly effortlessly. Their glittering feathers attract hummingbirds. However, hummingbirds are fiercely territorial, and they will fight you over their favorite feeding spots. While bees see these flowers poorly, hummingbirds are adept at spying these colors and zooming in on them from afar. So, if you want to attract hummingbirds to your yard, you must be ready to share your table with these gorgeous creatures.
One of the best ways to attract hummingbirds to your garden is to plant a smorgasbord of plants that provide nectar. Hummingbirds will visit just about any flower in your yard, but some don’t like some varieties over others. Others may be pest-prone, or are toxic to humans. But whatever you decide to plant, hummingbirds love it!
Attract pollinator Beetles and Flies
Native plants attract beneficial pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and moths to your garden. Coneflowers, for example, are a favorite among native bees and butterflies. These daisy-like flowers produce sticky pollen that they use to collect nectar. Plants that attract animals to their gardens include sunflowers, coneflowers, and marigolds.
While we often think of beetles as pests, these little creatures play an important role in pollination. Beetles are among the oldest insects to visit flowers, dating back 200 million years. They were very important pollinators when angiosperms first evolved 125 million years ago. Their main sources of food are nectar, pollen, and flowers themselves. Beetles prefer flowers with a distinctive scent. Some of these flowers have a spicy, sweet, or fermented fragrance to attract beetles and flies.
In addition to these plants, you can also include some common ones like alyssum, allium, boxwood, chives, cosmos, marigolds, mint, sedum, and yarrow. Most common pollinators are drawn to flowers that are dense and feature a variety of scents and colours. Also, you can incorporate shrubberies near your vegetable plot to provide a good habitat for pollinators.
Attract Parasitic Wasps
The largest group of pollinators, parasitic wasps rely on flowering plants to supplement their diet of insect caterpillars. Plants with flowers throughout the year such as marigolds and cowpeas, as well as white clover, are all great choices to attract these insects to your garden. They also appreciate the nectar produced by plants like dill and lavender.
To be effective, the venom of the parasitic wasp needs to leave its victims alive, so that it can manipulate the host’s metabolism and behavior. It’s most effective when it prevents the immune system from attacking its own larvae and triggers the victim to protect the host. The venom also makes the caterpillar turn into a zombie-like state.
Vegetables provide shelter from hot, dry weather, as well as nectar and pollen sources for beneficial insects. In addition, their structure makes them ideal habitats for insect predators. A BIRB will be 10 to 20 degrees cooler than ambient temperatures, making it perfect for parasitic wasps. Keeping the environment moist and warm will also help prevent parasitic wasps from laying their eggs.