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Keeping the Buzz Going for Pollinators


Keeping the Buzz Going for Pollinators


Here are some ways you can help bees and other pollinators from your garden.

There was an important week-long celebration last month that you might have missed. Tucked in between the new federal Juneteenth holiday and the 4th of July is Pollinator Week, an international event to spread the word about bees, birds and butterflies and their importance to all of us.

How important are they? It’s estimated that more than 85% of Earth’s plant species require pollinators to exist. One out of every three bites of food you consume comes from plants made possible by honeybees and other pollinators. In fact, blueberries and cherries are 90% dependent on honeybees, while almond crops depend entirely on the honeybee at bloom time.

Unfortunately, bee populations have been on the decline for years.

In 2006, scientists identified “colony collapse disorder.” The disappearance of bees has been linked to certain pesticides, parasites and shrinking native habitat. Climate change has also disrupted native species around the world, resulting in more than half a dozen native U.S. bee species being placed on the endangered species list.

Because of this, protecting existing colonies and increasing their habitat has become a worldwide priority – and it’s one you can easily participate in from your own Northern Arizona backyard.

Here are some ways you can help bees and other pollinators from your garden:

  • Create habitats for pollinators by supplying necessary water, food, shelter and places to raise their young.
  • Plant in clumps, as clustering plants makes them easier to find and shortens the need for travel, reserving the energy of backyard pollinators.
  • Plant a section of native plants and wildflowers to increase nectar and pollen sources for butterflies and bumblebees.
  • Choose a variety of plants that will bloom in rotation throughout the growing season.
  • Choose a variety of colors and shapes, as different pollinators are attracted to different types.
  • Build or purchase a bee condo or leave dead trees or limbs for nesting habitats.
  • Plant where bees will visit, such as sunny spots with some shelter, versus shady areas.
  • Use only bee-friendly pesticides. Most organic products are not harmful to bees.

Warner’s locally grown native plant selection, as well as all the other quality plants from our nursery, will provide multiple food sources for all those buzzing bees and other pollinators.

Here’s just a partial list of plants that will keep bees busy and your yard looking lovely, too: Asters, Basil, Black-eyed Susan, Caryopteris, English Lavender, Globe Thistle, Goldenrod, Honeysuckle, Marjoram, Purple Coneflower, Rhododendron, Rosemary, Sage, Snowberry, Sunflower, Trumpet Vine, Wild Lilac and Zinnia.

If you have any questions about setting your garden abuzz and making it a home for our oh-so-important pollinators, our experts at Warner’s would be happy to help.

Happy gardening! FBN

By Misti Warner-Andersen

Misti Warner-Andersen is the manager of  Warner’s Nursery & Landscape Co., located at 1101 E. Butler Ave. in Flagstaff. To contact Warner’s Nursery, call 928-774-1983.

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