Pollinators require two essential components in their habitat: somewhere to nest and flowers from which to gather nectar and pollen. Native plants are undoubtedly the best source of food for pollinators, because plants and their pollinators have coevolved. Many varieties of garden plants are also good for these important insects.
In many landscapes, flowers have been pushed to the margins, surviving on roadsides and field edges, as well as in wild areas and gardens. Providing patches of flowers is one thing we can do to improve the environment for pollinators. Creating foraging habitat not only helps the bees, butterflies and flies that pollinate these plants, but also results in beautiful, appealing landscapes.
3 things you can do to enhance pollinators in your garden!
By implementing the changes below, you’re on your way to protect pollinators and their habitats. Consider joining our Bring Back the Pollinators campaign. Sign the Bring Back the Pollinators pledge now!
Provide a range of native flowers.
Native flowering plants that bloom throughout the growing season enrich the landscape visually and provide food and nesting! Find a plant list for your region.
Create nest sites.
Creating nesting sites for native bees is essential. To learn more about different nesting options, and which ones will easily incorporate into your landscape, check out our Nests for Native Bees factsheet.
Attracting Native Pollinators
Xerces’ most recent book, Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies, is available to purchase from our website. The book is published in 2011 by Storey Publishing, North Adams, Massachusetts. Attracting Native Pollinators is coauthored by four Xerces Society staff members Eric Mader, Matthew Shepherd, Mace Vaughan, and Scott Black in collaboration with Gretchen LeBuhn, San Francisco State University. Read more.
Establishing Pollinator Meadows from Seed
Step-by-step instructions for establishing pollinator meadows from seed in areas that range in size from a small backyard garden to an acre or more. Read more.
Neonicotinoids in Your Garden
Neonicotinoids are a group of insecticides that are used widely on farms, as well as around our homes, schools, and city landscapes. Used to protect against sap-sucking and leaf-chewing insects, neonicotinoids are systemic, which means they are absorbed by the plant tissues and expressed in all parts, including nectar and pollen. Unfortunately, bees, butterflies, and Read more …
In Your Pollinator Garden
Each month, we highlight a few seasonally-relevant gardening issues in our Bring Back the Pollinators enewsletter. You can find our archive of monthly tips below. No matter what time of year it is or how bad the weather may seem, there is always plenty of work to do in your garden, so please remember to Read more …
The Power of Pollinators
Materials and resources to teach gardeners and naturalists about pollination, pollinators and every gardener's role in pollinator conservation. Each module contains slides, notes and resources to help educators spread the word about pollinators. To download PDF instructions, click here.
Great Sunflower Project
This project involves growing sunflowers and monitoring the bees that visit them. The website includes detailed information on native bee identification. Visit the site here.