Protecting Pollinators Part 1 - Follow Thoughtful Landscape Management Guidelines

Environment - Bees and Pollinators
Published Saturday, June 25, 2016

Pollinators are a group of diverse animals that play a critical role in the world's food production. There are over 20,000 species of wild pollinators ranging from wild bees to managed honey bees, plus many species of butterflies, flies, moths, wasps, beetles, birds, bats and other animals that pollinate crops including those that provide fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts and oils.   In Colorado, we have several agricultural industries that rely on pollinators such as our Palisade peaches and Rocky Ford cantaloupes.

A healthy pollinator population is important and multiple factors that can affect their health have been identified:

Proper management and control of infectious pests and diseases in honey bee populations

Loss of habitat and habitat diversity due to increased urbanization

Improper use of pesticides toxic to pollinators

Lack of genetic diversity in managed bee populations

All of us can do our part to protect pollinators

You can help provide more pollinator habitat by choosing plants favorable to pollinators.  One of the main reasons, urban dwellers may not notice pollinators in their landscapes, is because there may be lack of food for the pollinators.  If there is no food for pollinators, then the pollinators will go elsewhere.

Bees and other pollinators need plants that provide nectar and pollen; certain plants provide more food for pollinators than others.

Use a wide variety of plants that flower from spring to fall and plant them in clumps so that pollinators don't have to travel as far to find them.

Native flowering plants are more effective at attracting pollinators than hybrid flowers.

Additional Resources

Low Water Native Plants for Colorado Gardens:  Front Range and Foothills. Colorado Native Plant

Attracting Butterflies to the Garden, Colorado State University Extension

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