In case someone has missed the memo, pollinators in general are struggling. Pollinators are nature’s matchmakers, working together with plants – in many cases interdependent – to ensure the plant’s reproduction. In exchange for matchmaking services – moving pollen, the male plant essence, to female plant organs, pollinators are enticed with flower nectar, which is carbohydrate flight fuel, and pollen, a source of protein or food.
Pollinators need plants, their future is intertwined with having a wide variety of pollen and nectar sources. If we want to help one, we need to address both.
This is a great list, and I appreciate Charlotte’s insight and passion for pollinators. I share this passion but take exception to Tip#4. I would caution against “eliminating turf grass”. The home lawn is not completely useless to the ecosystem, as it acts as a biofilter while preventing erosion and stormwater run-off. Turf grass also has a net cooling effect on the environment and provides extremely high quality greenspace for recreation and wellbeing. To promote pollinator friendly lawns, I often recommend drought resistant turf type tall fescues with a blend of white clover or micro-clovers. These fescues maintain great ground cover and dark green color, while the clovers provide both food for pollinators and food for the turf and soil biome by metabolizing nitrogen and returning it to the soil in usable form. As an overall preference to “eliminating turf grass” I prefer encouraging homeowners and golf course superintendents to provide plenty of “Honey Bee Happy Zones” where judicious portions of our turfgrass covered acreage is not treated with herbicides. If you have the option to “reduce your use of turf grass” – please do so in a way that does not encourage erosion, or excess runoff of soil and nutrients – which may undermine some of your other efforts implementing some of Chalotte’s other amazing tips. Respectfully submitted, Scott Witte