Pollinators are so important to our planet! They help plants reproduce, and therefore help sustain our ecosystem and supply our natural resources. At least 75% of all flowering plants on Earth need to be pollinated – that’s over 180,000 different species and over 1,200 crops! Pollinators bring us one out of every three bites of food you eat.
What Is A Pollinator?
A pollinator is any animal that transports pollen grains from one plant to another. This transportation process, known as pollination, helps plants produce seeds, fruits, and other plants. Bees, butterflies, birds, bats, flies, moths, beetles, wasps, and other small animals are all pollinators.
How Can You Help Pollinators?
Pollinator populations are in decline, but there are easy ways you can help them!
- Plant pollinator-friendly plants. Make sure your garden includes lots of plants that provide nectar and pollen! Be sure to include native plants, as well. Native plants support native wildlife! A native plant is one that was here prior to the European settlement of America. They are already adapted to our conditions and require less maintenance, including a minimal use of pesticides!
- Plant milkweed. Milkweed is critical to the survival of monarch butterflies. It is the only plant on which a monarch caterpillar feeds.
- Use pesticides properly. Don’t apply chemicals to any plant that has pollinator activity. When you do need to use a pesticide, apply it at night when animals aren’t as active. Also, consider non-chemical alternatives. Releasing beneficial insects into your garden is a 100% organic pest control method!
Plants That Attract Hummingbirds
Plants That Attract Butterflies
Joe Pye weed
National Pollinator Month
June is National Pollinator Month! It’s a time to celebrate pollinators and bring awareness to the problems that they face. In 2007, the United States Senate unanimously designated a week in June as National Pollinator Week as a way to bring further awareness to the declining populations of pollinators.
In 2021, Pollinator Week will last from June 21-27.
Learn More About Pollinators
Eastern Broadleaf Forest Pollinator Planting Guide, Pollinator Partnership
Backyard Wildlife, University of Tennessee Extension
The Plight of Pollinators, University of Tennessee Extension
Southeast Plants for Native Bees, University of Tennessee Extension
Know Your Native Bees, University of Tennessee Extension
Planting For and Identifying Pollinators, American Meadows
Regional Plants Attract Regional Pollinators, American Meadows
Pollinator Activities For Kids
Even your littlest gardeners can support pollinators! Help them learn about local wildlife and plants, and plant the love of gardening in them that will grow through the rest of their life.
Five Things Kids Can Do To Help Pollinators, Pollinator Partnership
Build A Bee Condo, Pollinator Partnership (adult assistance needed)
Pollinator Crossword Puzzle, Pollinator Partnership
My Garden Pollinators, Proven Winners’ Club Sprout
Make A Butterfly Feeder, Proven Winners’ Club Sprout (adult assistance needed)
PollinatorLIVE, the USDA Forest Service – Conservation Education
Pollinator Activity & Lesson Plan Kit, KidsGardening