How grouping native plants together in your garden helps pollinators

I highly recommend this article on why it’s important to protect pollinators and some of the things we all can do in our gardens – whether our yards are big or small – to make life easier for them: Everyone Can Play a Role in Pollinator Conservation

Kelly Gill, a Pollinator Conservation Specialist with the Xerces Society, makes a great point about how we overlook the welfare of wild pollinators in favour of European honeybees, at our peril:

On a per-bee basis, native bees are far more effective pollinators than honey bees for many crops …studies show that only 250 female orchard mason bees are necessary to pollinate an acre of apples. About one to two hives of honeybees would be necessary to do the same job – a total of 15,000 to 20,000 honeybees.

This, I didn’t know:

In small spaces, plant a few native pollinator plants in three feet diameter clumps. Clumping like-species makes small patches more visible and pollinators are able to move easily from flower to flower.

The Xerces Society is a wonderful non-profit organization that has been dedicated to protecting wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat for over forty years. One of things we forget in our drive to protect wildlife is the critical role insects play in the food chain. Doug Tallamy put it best in his book, Bringing Nature Home:

“…so many animals depend partially or entirely on insect protein for food, a land without insects is a land without higher forms of life.”