Many people think that bees are the only pollinator. However, bees are part of a much more expansive group of different species responsible for pollinating plants and playing a big role in sustaining our food production. Pollinators help our ecosystems by assisting plants in reproducing. Yes, back to fourth-grade science. Pollination is necessary for plants to reproduce, so pollinators are critical to the process.
Pollination is traveling from plant to plant with pollen collected on pollinators’ bodies. Pollinators include bees, butterflies, bats, birds, rodents, and some marsupials. This transfer of genetic material is vital to the reproduction of most plants that produce a flower. In essence, pollinators help plants that provide fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Another critical role pollinators fill is keeping soil healthy and assisting plants in reproducing, providing many of the world’s oils and fibrous materials. Pollinators are also shown to help clean the air and support other wildlife in the area.
The ecosystem’s health is precious and fragile enough to need support and attention when threatened. Sadly, there is ample evidence that ecosystems worldwide are in danger. People can make a difference in supporting sustainable pollination.
Not Just the Birds and the Bees
It may surprise some that birds and bees are not the only pollinators that need to be acknowledged and protected. Moths, butterflies, wasps, bats, and birds are among the most active pollinator groups. Small mammals also contribute to pollination, but bees are by far the most critical. Bees travel from flower to flower, drinking nectar and eating the pollen, and then transporting the grains to spread pollination as they travel from place to place.
More than 75% of flowering plants need pollinators to help. Although pollinators help the economy indirectly, they are often overlooked as a critical link to healthy crops and soil.
Dramatic Pollinator Status Changes
The pollinator populations are changing, and not for the better. Declining populations are attributed to the loss of nesting habitats where pollinators feed. Some of the most devastating causes are pollution, chemical disposal and misuse, diseases, and climate change. Populations are shrinking, and people are taking notice. Spreading awareness has become more critical as bee populations (specifically) are significantly declining, with many species absent from the last census. Without the presence of some bees, there is not enough data to respond to the shrinking numbers, which is even more problematic.
Helping Pollinators Out
Scientists have spent decades researching how to counter the adverse effects on pollinators, and conservation efforts do help. The pollinators need the help of everyone, including the local and national governments, private industries, and homeowners. Collectively, individual actions can make a significant difference in protecting and conserving pollinators. Whether offering a water source, calling a professional for a hive removal, or planting pollinator-friendly plants and flowers, every effort matters and works towards the bigger goal.
Adding Natural Habitats
Since pollinators are not deterred by city life, simply adding home gardens can attract a diverse group of pollinators. By planting plants and flowers that attract pollinators, especially bees, the result is a natural increase in urban agriculture. Adding natural habitats to landscapes, fields, and existing farms provides bees and other pollinators lots of food to eat and pollen to spread.
Plants and flowers native to each area provide the best options for pollinators. Still, a favorite in Southern California is Russian Sage. Russian Sage flowers a beautiful purple bloom that lasts well beyond other flowering plants and is heat and sun-resistant.
Raise Awareness About Pollinators
Undoubtedly, local beekeepers are raising awareness in their communities about the importance of pollinators to our ecosystem. There are also worldwide efforts and new technology making strides in the overall health of pollinators. Supporting local honeybee products and visiting a local beekeeper are all efforts to build and strengthen a community that supports pollinator importance.
There are bee and pollinator partnership groups, but many free tools and resources are available online. There is also likely a bee network in your area with great tidbits for homeowners, beekeepers, and gardeners.
Be Thoughtful When It Comes to Pollinators
The mindset that will provide the most significant boost to pollinator conservation is an overall thoughtfulness about co-existing with them and doing our individual parts to help. When you see a pollinator, before you throw in the towel and try to kill them, think about their vital roles in our ecosystem. Get an expert to remove an unwanted beehive, ensuring the bees can relocate to another area locally. If you have questions or concerns, many resources are available online. Locals can always start with their local beekeeper and often pull over to the side of the road for a sweet, local honey treat. Beekeepers love to talk about their bees and the colonies in the area.
If you are in Southern California, contact D-Tek Live Bee Removal for pollinator questions or concerns. DTek offers the highest level of service in the industry and recognizes the necessity to protect precious pollinators.