From tiny ants to bats, birds, bees, and butterflies, we depend on pollinators to produce our food, and protect biodiversity. This week on Discover Nature, we celebrate national pollinator week.
At least 450 species bees are native to Missouri. They’re considered the most efficient pollinators – even better than honeybees. For instance, one blueberry bee can visit 50,000 flowers in its short lifetime, resulting in the production of 6,000 blueberries.
Other pollinators include spiders, beetles, moths, and flies – all working together to protect our food supply and to create the habitats that most other animals rely on for food and shelter.
Scientists believe that loss of habitat may be a key to pollinators’ decline across the country. Fortunately, there’s room on every lawn and every farm in Missouri to improve habitat for pollinators:
- Plant native wildflowers;
- Avoid using broad-spectrum herbicides near native plantings; and
- Avoid burning from mid-May through mid-October.
Learn more about pollinators and how you can help them at MissouriConservation.org, or the following links below:
- Xerces Society: xerces.org
- Pollinator Partnership: pollinator.org
- U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: fws.gov/pollinators
- Kids Gardening: kidsgardening.org
- USDA: fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators
- Grow Native: GrowNative.org
Discover Nature is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation.