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Bees and Pollinators

Insects are responsible foru00a0oneu00a0out of every three bites of food. With new reports showing pollinators remain in steep decline, letu2019s get straight to what we can do about it. Fortunately, itu2019s been proven that regular homeowners can achieve a great deal!u00a0Here are 10 ideas to help pollinators from homeu2014from simply adding wildflowers to decreasingu00a0pesticides.

Unless youu2019ve been living under a rock, youu2019re well aware that the populations of our native bees, butterflies,u00a0and other insect pollinators have been declining for several decades. A study from January, 2019, indicatesu00a040% of insect species are threatenedu00a0with extinction. Perhaps youu2019ve noticed fewer butterflies and bees in your ownu00a0backyard?

First, no insects means no food. One out of every three bites of food you eat is due to pollinators. About three-fourths of all flowering plants are pollinated by insects, as well as the crops that produceu00a0more than one-thirdu00a0of the worldu2019s food supply. Importantly, insects are the bedrock of our entire ecosystem (birds, lizards, frogs, and other wildlife). Without insects, birds and fish and small mammals decline; if they decline, the entire food web isu00a0affected.

u201cNativeu201d plants are simply plants that occur naturally in the region where they evolved.u00a0Native insects co-evolved with them, as did native birds and wildlife. Itu2019s one bigu00a0ecosystem!

Consideru00a0planting a pollinator stripu00a0as a border to a vegetable garden or au00a0wildflower borderu00a0along the edge of your field.u00a0Youu2019ll improve pollination of your crops and also support bees when the crops stop blooming. It will also attract and support other pollinators, such as wasps and hoverflies, that control cropu00a0pests.

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