Like everyone who gardens, I have heard the news of the decline in honeybee populations which of course has me concerned. I do everything I can to entice not only honeybees, but other pollinators into my yard.
Without pollinators we would not be on the planet. Pollinators from the (I think, adorable) honeybee to birds, beetles, wasps, flies, moths, butterflies, bats and even small mammals are responsible for moving pollen around so our plants produce food.
So what do I do to encourage their visits? Well first of all I do not use any chemicals in my yard. I only use Neem oil or diatomaceous earth on or around my plants.
Instead of focusing on pests and diseases I focus on creating healthy soil with plenty of compost that encourages the good buggies and nourishes my plants. Healthy plants don’t get pests and diseases as frequently, and when they do are able to withstand the onslaught more easily.
I also plant a variety of blooming perennials. A variety because who wants to eat the same thing every day? Well really, so that as one plant is done blooming, others are just beginning. so there is a constant source of food for my pollinating friends.
I also plant flowers with different shaped blooms to feed varied pollinators, and I plant in groupings because many pollinators (who knew?) are terribly nearsighted. I also have many plants native to my region; a regional buffet for native pollinators.
We also have fruit trees and grapes that bear plentifully enough that I don’t begrudge the birds their fair share.
Making Them Comfortable
We have a birdbath and various other stone cisterns that hold water, not only for the birds and mammals. but for the tiny flying insects as well. Be sure to put some stones in them so you don’t have accidental drowning though.
Probably one of the only things I have not done is get a bat house. I actually love bats and think they are cute, so the idea of attracting them isn’t scary to me. I just haven’t done it.
Now that we are talking about it though I think a bat house is next on my list. Everything we can do to keep our pollinators around will ensure that humankind sticks around for a while longer. Fingers crossed.