Pollinator Week is June 18th to 24th!
Plant a garden that butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees will love as much as you!
POLLINATOR SEED MIX
|Common Mt. Mint||0.01|
|Great Bue Lobelia||0.01|
|Purple Prairie Clover||0.15|
Pollination by Native Bees
According to the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, there are over 4000 species of native bees in the U.S. alone. Bees are the most predominant pollinators of flowering plants in nature, thus contributing a vital service to the ecosystem. Bees are referred to as “keystone organisms” because of this important role.
Some native bees have names that reflect how they build nests—leafcutter bees, mason bees, miner bees, carpenter bees, digger bees, etc. Others are named for their behavior, which include bumble bees, sweat bees, and cuckoo bees. In addition, some bees are named for the types of plants they pollinate such as squash, sunflower and blueberry bees.
When honey bees are in short supply, the pollination needs of many crops can be filled by native bees. Research reflects that native bees can be major pollinators of agricultural crops and sometimes do the job more efficiently. For instance, the blue orchard bee is a primary pollinator of cultivated apples. Another important crop pollinator is the western bumble bee, which has been used to pollinate cranberries, avocadoes, and blueberries. Native squash bees are major pollinators of cultivated squashes. Some native bees are even commercially managed like honey bees to provide pollination services. Great news for Iowa native plants and pollinators!
CRP Wildlife Food Plots
CRP wildlife food plot options now allow a food plot consisting of all native grasses and forbs. Unlike traditional grain food plots, now additional pollen and nectar will be available. Futhermore, a native food plot will not be disked and replanted every year or every other year like the alternative grain food plots. Thus, bees utilizing ground burrows will benefit!