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When a pollen grain moves from the anther (male part) of a flower to the stigma (female part), pollination happens. This is the first step in a process that produces seeds, fruits, and the next generation of plants. This can happen through self- pollination, wind and water pollination, or through the work of vectors that move pollen within the flower and from bloom to bloom.

Who are the pollinators?

Birds, bats, butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, wasps, small mammals, and most importantly, bees are pollinators. They visit flowers to drink nectar or feed off of pollen and transport pollen grains as they move from spot to spot.

Why are pollinators important?

Some of the many foods that rely on pollinators – Somewhere between 75% and 95% of all flowering plants on the earth need help with pollination – they need pollinators. Pollinators provide pollination services to over 180,000 different plant species and more than 1200 crops. That means that 1 out of every three bites of food you eat is there because of pollinators If we want to talk dollars and cents, pollinators add 217 billion dollars to the global economy and honey bees alone are responsible for between 1.2 and 5.4 billion dollars in agricultural productivity in the United States. In addition to the food that we eat, pollinators support healthy ecosystems that clean the air, stabilizes oils, protect from severe weather, and support other wildlife.

Good plants:

  • Asters
  • Bee Balm
  • Coreopsis
  • Goldenrod
  • Sunflowers
  • Marigolds
  • Milkweed
  • Trumpet Vine
  • Trumpet Honeysuckle
  • Joe Pye Weed
  • Phlox
  • Yarrow
  • Pussy Willow
  • Blueberry
  • Fruit Trees
  • Berries
  • Melons
  • Borage
  • Comfrey
  • Sage
  • Garlic
  • Mint
  • Thyme
  • Lavender
  • Dicentra
  • Mahonia
  • Cherries
  • Serviceberry
  • Tulip tree
  • Thyme
  • Phlox
  • Yarrow
  • Sourwood
  • Soutrhern Magnolia
  • Redbud
  • Yoshino Cherry
  • Pieris
  • Buddleia

Best practices: integrated Pest Management ( choosing right plants so they aren’t stressed; sanitation, beneficial insects, targeted rather than broad spectrum insecticides) ; Water available; layered plant canopy; “snags” for nests

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