Lee Valley Tools    Gardening Newsletter
   Vol. 8, Issue 4
   April 2013
 
   Helping Native Pollinators
 
 
Efficient pollinatorsEfficient pollinators
Native bees are efficient pollinators that fly even in cold and wet conditions.
 
Many of us have heard of colony collapse disorder, one of the main reasons behind the decline in European honey bee (Apis mellifera) populations in both North America and Europe. While much attention has been given to this phenomenon, comparatively little has been paid to decreasing native North American bee populations, even though they are also very efficient pollinators. Furthermore, many will fly, and thereby pollinate, in conditions too wet or cold for honey bees. There are many factors behind their decline (disease, parasites), but two of the main ones are loss of habitat and a lack of nectar and pollen sources. It's easy for a home gardener to help our little bee friends by providing an uninterrupted supply of food in the form of native flowering plants, trees and shrubs, and an undisturbed nesting habitat.

Food Supply
As part of a shift towards gardening practices that are more environmentally friendly, many gardeners select native flowering plants. These tend to be easier to care for, more drought-tolerant and less prone to infestation by insect pests such as aphids. In addition, most provide food, shelter and nesting habitats for bees. A varied, continuous succession of blooms from early spring to late fall provides abundant nectar and pollen for bees and other pollinators. Of course, continuous bloom is what most gardeners dream of, which makes it all the better. One can easily realize how satisfying and simple this type of gardening can be.

Listed below is a variety of native flowering plants, shrubs and trees. Keep in mind that many hybrids from nurseries are similar but not exactly the same as their wild ancestors. The most important thing is to choose tough, reliable bloomers that provide ample pollen and nectar. Many double-flowered hybrids have beautiful blooms but much less pollen and nectar. My suggestion is to stick with the single-flower types that are as close to the native plant as possible.
 
 
             
Previous Page
Go to page:
1
Next Page
 
   Other Articles from this Issue
 
 
  • Magnolias for Cooler Climates
  •  
  • Return to Newsletter Home
  •  
        New Arrivals
     
    Coil Bird Deterrent

    Coil
    Bird Deterrent
    Slice™ Desk Utility Cutter

    Slice™
    Desk Utility Cutter
    Herb Dryers

    Herb
    Dryers
    Drawing Scale Rule

    Drawing
    Scale Rule
     
    Bucking and Felling Wedges

    Bucking and
    Felling Wedges
    Self-Levelling Glide

    Self-Levelling
    Glide
    Sidewinder Pliers

    Sidewinder
    Pliers
    Sorting Tray

    Sorting
    Tray

        News & Events  
     
     
         Lee Valley Seminars

       Recent Catalog Mailings
     
     
        Features
      What is It?
    Interesting Reads
    Customer Letters
    From the Garden
     
        Subscriber Services
     
     
     
      Subscribe

    Privacy Policy

    Newsletter Archive