How You Can Help Honey Bees and Butterflies With High Pollinating Wildflowers
Plant Pollination by Bees and Butterlfies is Essential
Plant pollination by insects is an essential ecosystem service, most typically done by various butterflies and bees (Honey and Bumble).
It is estimated that 60 to 80 percent of the world's 250,000 flowering plants depend on insects for pollination.
Further, 87% of the cultivated crops are insect-pollinated forage plants, including alfalfa and clover, which provide food to livestock.
You can help!
Roadsides as a Habitat
Although roadsides are not a substitute for our wildlands, the sides of the roads do have value as habitats to the various animals and insects.
You can buy native wildflowers for the state or region in which you live.
Along with helping to seed the roadsides near your home, you can plant have a wildflower garden.
Wildflower High Pollinator Values for Midwestern US Region
- Blazing Star
- Compass plant
- Culver's root
- Giant Hyssop
- Mountain mint
- Obedient plant
- Partridge pea
- Prairie clover
- Wild rose
The Flowers: A Pollinator Habitat
The pollinator habitat should have a diversity of flowers that bloom from early spring until late fall in order to sustain a diverse group of pollinators throughout the growing season.
Preferably, find seeds for plants that are native to your area.
Roadsides: Linkages From Habitat to Habitat
Roadsides may serve as corridors for pollinating animals and insects. The linear structure of roadsides provide a linkage from one area to another.
Many insects, including the Monarch butterfly, migrate over thousands of miles. These roadsides provide nutrients and homes to many of these insects. As mentioned, Monarchs find these roadsides to be critical habitat. The Monarch butterfly larvae feed exclusively on milkweed
For More Information
Here are some resources that may help you learn more about wildflowers, especially along roadsides, and their importance to pollinating insects.
- www.xerces.org/pollinator-conservation - The Xerces Society where you can learn about regionally important information, including habitat creation.
- www.extension.umn.edu/honeybees - Learn about Honey Bees and become a Beekeeper.
- www.monarchwatch.org - Learn about Monarch butterflies.
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