There are quite a few ways to attract pollinators to your garden. Native plantings, providing water sources, avoiding pesticides and building nesting sites will help bring and keep pollinators for your plants.
And there are different types of insect pollinators that might surprise you. We mostly think of the Hymenoptera group of bees and wasps. But did you know that ants are also considered pollinators? They are more limited in their range than flying insects, but considered pollinators nonetheless. Also familiar to most of us are the Lepidoptera consisting of butterflies and moths.
But did you know that Diptera (flies, midges and mosquitoes) are also pollinators? And, Coleoptera, beetles, are too!
Pollinators don’t just eat nectar either. They rely on decaying fruits for minerals and carbohydrates. In keeping with that, I put together a Pollinator Picnic whenever we have old fruit or melon rinds.
Just lay the rinds in an old tray or trash can lid. Cut the citrus fruit and bananas, leaving the skins on. Any fruit that has become too ripe is perfect for your pollinators. After they feast on it for a few days, you can add the leftovers to your compost. If you do not want to attract ants, fill the bottom of the tray with some water. Place your Pollinator Picnic away from outdoor play and dining areas to avoid possible stinging.
So, put together a Pollinator Picnic for your garden the next time you are eating fresh fruits or are cleaning out the fridge!
For more information check out the Natural Resources Conservation Service