How to Protect Pollinators

With collapsing populations of honeybees all over the country, pollinators are big news right now. There have been several articles and media campaigns lately that all promote what individual citizens can do to help them out. That’s where it all starts right? At home. People may think that what they’re doing is small, too small to make a difference, but when you add up all of those small individual actions throughout a neighborhood, a city, a state…that’s a BIG difference if you ask us.

Even if you don’t have a lot of land you can still help out your local pollinators. This new publication from Michigan State University Extension has everything you will ever need to know about how to make your yard as pollinator friendly as possible.

 

How to protect pollinators in urban landscapes and gardens

A new PDF publication is the complete guide to protecting pollinators while gardening, growing flowers or managing trees, shrubs or turfgrass in urban areas.

How to protect pollinators in urban landscapes and gardens

Many people are concerned about declines in the number of bees and butterflies, especially honey bees and monarchs. To help gardeners and others in urban settings identify how they can protect and increase populations of pollinators, I worked with a team of my fellow entomologists to write a guide full of resources and recommendations. “Protecting and enhancing pollinators in urban landscapes for the US North Central Region” is available online in PDF format for free viewing and downloading.

This online publication includes:

  • The principles of integrated pest management (IPM) for dealing with pest problems while protecting pollinators.
  • Factors that threaten pollinator health.
  • Detailed recommendations for selecting annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees that support pollinators.
  • Unique to this publication, best management practices for managing devastating exotic pests, or troublesome outbreaks of native pests, while minimizing impacts on pollinators. These practices include trunk injections and the use of low-impact pesticides.
  • A detailed phenological table that tells when the most common trees and shrubs bloom so that sprays can be avoided until they are done blooming.
  • A list of 55 references for those that would like to read more on this subject.

Pollinator coverThis resource is a 30-page PDF and will answer nearly every question that gardeners, landscapers and tree care professionals may have about protecting pollinators. The plant material listed and discussed are for the north central region of the United States, but other versions of this bulletin are in progress now to provide lists of plants for other regions of the country.

The title and complete list of authors is: Protecting and enhancing pollinators in urban landscapes for the US North Central Region (Michigan State University Extension bulletin E3314), by David Smitley, Michigan State University Department of Entomology; Diane Brown and Erwin Elsner, Michigan State University Extension; Joy N. Landis, Michigan State University IPM; Paula M. Shrewsbury, University of Maryland Department of Entomology; and Daniel A. Herms, The Ohio State University Department of Entomology.

Dr. Smitley’s work is funded in part by MSU’s AgBioResearch.

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