Creating Habitat for Pollinators

by Lorraine on December 9, 2008

Here is the final installment of Casey’s article.

 

You may also want to provide nesting areas for pollinators.  Native bees do not nest in colonial hives, they usually live and nest independently.  For the most part, native bees are not known to sting.  If you see a wasp hive on your property, they can be dealt with as the homeowner sees fit (wasps are primarily are not plant pollinators, and instead are more carnivorous).  Structures such as wood blocks with holes, twig bundles, brush piles, and undisturbed even bare ground can provide nest sites for native bees. 

 

For butterflies and moths, usually providing the right plants will provide the proper food and substrate to encourage reproduction.  If you see caterpillars eating your native plant leaves, consider it a good thing!  Most adult butterflies and moths will feed from many different flowers, but their larval stage (caterpillars) are often restricted to a few plants.  For example, tiger swallowtails will only lay their eggs on willows or sycamores.  The caterpillars will only feed on these plants, then will pupate, and become flying adults. 

Planting flowers with a long, tubular shape is a sure way to attract hummingbirds.  Consider penstemons, sages, monkeyflowers, and fuschia.

 

Most pollinators will utilize a water source, such as a birdbath.  Just be sure they are able to enter and exit safely.  Also, be sure to eliminate or minimize pesticide use on your property, since there can be collateral damage to many beneficial insects, including pollinators.

 

Please consider creating pollinator habitat in your yard this fall.  Hosting pollinators on your property has many benefits for you, native plants and wildlife, your garden and crops, and the ecosystem as a whole. 

 

For more information visit:

 

http://www.xerces.org/

http://www.pollinator.org/

http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/index.shtml

http://nathistoc.bio.uci.edu/bflyplnt.htm

 

For more information on attracting pollinators or on any type of conservation planning, contact the

USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service at (805) 386-4489 or stop by our office at 3380 Somis Rd., Somis, CA.  We are co-located with the Ventura County Resource Conservation District.

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