How can you conserve pollinators and other beneficial insects? By doing less!
1. Mow less
Let the dandelions and clover and anything else in your yard flower! These flowers provide food for pollinators.
2. Ditch the pesticides and herbicides
Pesticides harm beneficial insects just as much as they do pest insects. Save the time and money, and ditch the chemicals.
3. Clean up your yard less
Leave part of your yard wild. Let the leaves and branches stay just the way they fall. Don’t mow or weed or prune. This can provide great habitat for beneficial insects.
4. Plant less in some areas of your yard
Leave some bare, exposed, and undisturbed soil in your yard. The majority of bees nest in the ground!
5. Keep exterior lights off
Or switch them to motion detectors if you need them. Some nocturnal pollinators, like certain moths, navigate by the moon. Lights on at night confuse them, and they can die of exhaustion or become an easy snack for predators when they’re flying around a light.
6. When you plant, make sure it’s native!
While many ornamental plants might look nice, they require more upkeep than native plants, and they’re often not very attractive to native pollinators. Once established, native plants require very little maintenance. They’re adapted to live in your area, so they don’t need your help! Save on the water bill and the pruning effort by planting natives.
And if you want to do more…
7. Plant a variety of native plants so that you always have something blooming
Try to make sure something is blooming from early spring through late fall. Pollinators need food all season long.
8. Participate in community science efforts
Anyone can contribute, even if you have no experience at all. Community science is great for kids and adults of all ages and backgrounds. Check out iNaturalist.org, BumbleBeeWatch.org, or contact to your local garden club. The more we know about pollinators, the better we can protect them.
9. Learn more about native pollinators
Did you know the honey bee is not native to North America? It’s an agricultural animal; and in some cases, it can harm native bee populations. North America is home to over 4,000 native bee species, over 14,000 native moths and butterflies, and thousands of other pollinating insects, like some beetles, ants, and wasps.
10. Advocate for insects
Insects are crucial to the world as we know it, yet they face lots of stigmas. Be an insect advocate, and help others understand how important and loveable insects are.
Agency: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Program: US Fish & Wildlife Service - DFP
Location: Yreka Fish and Wildlife Office