Did you know that one in every three bites of food we eat, from vegetables and fruits to seeds and nuts, is the result of pollination? Pollination is the transfer of genetic material between plants, and can be enabled by wind, gravity, or by animals such as insects, birds and bats. Nearly three-quarters of flowering plants rely on animal pollinators to develop seeds and fruits. However many pollinators, including bees, butterflies and bats, have fallen on tough times and need our help. In 2007 the U.S. Senate designated a week in June as “National Pollinator Week” to highlight the seriousness of declining pollinator populations. Scientists have noticed, for instance, that the number of monarch butterflies has dropped steeply in recent years. An article by Michael Wines in the January 29, 2014 New York Times stated that “…the yearly winter migration of monarch butterflies…dwindled precipitously in December….“
You can attract pollinators to your garden by eliminating lawns, planting a variety of nectar-producing plants (especially natives), providing water, and avoiding pesticides.
To find books in the library on attracting pollinators to your garden, look under the subject headings: Gardening to Attract Wildlife, Butterfly Gardening, Gardening to Attract Birds, and Native Plant Gardening California.