When you take a stand for something positive the universe has a way of helping you achieve your goals!
Set an intention to protect pollinators!
Intention turns into action and action creates change!
Whether you have an established garden or creating new, include pollinators in your plans by planting pollinator favoured plants, creating some natural spaces, offering water resources, providing shelter and nesting sites.
Pollinators are responsible for bringing us one out of every three bites of food. They also sustain our ecosystems and produce our natural resources by helping plants reproduce. Our children and grandchildren are relying on us to take a stand for pollinators. We can’t sit back and hope someone else does something to sustain them… governments move slow, corporations aim for quarterly profits and pollinators, like other species, simply can’t evolve quick enough to keep up with their changing environment.
Pollinators face challenges for a variety of reasons; pesticide use, climate change, non-native gardens, loss of native vegetation and habitat due to industrial development, roadways and our ever-growing population creating a constant need for new housing development. Safe to say all created by us - humans!
This does not mean that we are helpless to make a positive contribution back to nature. We can create spaces in our own backyards that invite pollinators to flourish. We can turn our backyards into a beautiful pollinator reserve. It doesn’t mean that there is more work involved but instead changing our focus to a more natural habitat to support pollinators.
Bees are super busy pollinating strawberries, raspberries, apples to name a few. We need to consider all bees, not just honey bees but all bees. Bees cover the widest range of flowers and crops of any other pollinator group. There are over 800 species, these are just a few…
Honey bees have been the workhorses of agricultural pollination in Canada. Imported from Europe almost 400 years ago, they continue to work hard for us through pollination and honey production.
Native bees visit and pollinate many crops, in many cases, they are better in transferring pollen than honey bees.
Bumble bees often form colonies, usually underground taking over old rodent burrows or in dense bushes. They feed on a wide variety of plants and are important pollinators of tomatoes and blueberries.
Butterflies prefer open sunny areas protected from the wind with a variety of bright coloured flowers. They look for flowers that have a decent landing pad where they can rest and soak in the sun. Butterflies eat rotten fruit, putting out a plate of fruit to rot in the sun will bring visitors. There are many varieties of butterflies; Black Swallowtail, Clouded Sulphur, Coral Hairstreak to name a few but the most popular is the beloved Monarch. The Monarch butterfly relies heavily on the milkweed plant to lay eggs and once they become caterpillars the milkweed is the only plant they consume until they form into a chrysalis. We absolutely need to incorporate milkweed into our personal gardens to offset the loss of field & roadside milkweed.
Hummingbirds are the primary bird that contribute to pollination. Pollen is carried on both their beaks and feathers. These little guys burn up energy so quick they need additional options for food due to the decline of natural sources. Get your hummingbird feeders out early in the spring for the early arrivals, they will need nourishment after their long travel home. In the same vain – keep your feeders out well into the fall for the late departures. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the common species in Ontario.
Some birds may consume their entire body weight in any given day to sustain their high metabolic rate. The winner of the highest metabolic rate for birds goes to the hummingbird. The hummingbird heart rate can be as fast as 1260 beats per minute. Crazy fast.
Throughout the year, our feather friends are compelled to follow natures cycle, through courtship and mating in spring followed by nesting and raising their young in summer. Some may even have a second hatching. Late summer birds are busy eating as much as they can to fatten up either for the long migration ahead or to prepare for the coming winter months.
Now that you have set your intention, now what?
Schedule an appointment with me for a home visit this spring to walk about your garden to capture your likes/dislikes, take stock of current gardens and capture your ideas. In turn, I will provide a report back to you that captures all that plus recommendations for your consideration that you can take on to complete yourself or hire me to get it done for you so you can relax and enjoy mother nature at work.
Individually, I believe we can make a difference.
Collectively we can make a huge impact.