Be in the know about pollinators

Chris delivers his pollinator pots to FWF staff.

Create a pollinator garden in a pot!

Chris Waltz, volunteer extraordinaire and wildflower-gardening enthusiast, was inspired by people saying they can’t grow natives because they live in an apartment, condo, or other small space. He started thinking: They grow houseplants and annuals; why can’t they grow natives the same way? The result? A “pollinator garden in a pot.”

Read more
Eucera dubitata

Know your native pollinators: Long-horned bees

The Eucerini tribe is collectively referred to as the “long-horned bees,” but some genera within this tribe have other common names such as squash bees and sunflower bees. Long-horned bees can be difficult to tell apart, but males are easy to spot with their extraordinarily long antennae!

Read more

Know your native pollinators: Mining bees

Mining bees (Andrenidae) are a diverse family and some of the first bees to fly come spring. But if you don’t see them in the air, you can usually spot their conspicuous nest entrances on the ground marked by mounds of excavated soil.

Read more
Jonnie-Dietz_Agapostemon-sp

Know your native pollinators: Sweat bees

Halictidae, or sweat bees, are an extremely diverse group that are often abundant year round. Some are metallic green, others are smaller than a grain of rice, and nearly all are valuable pollinators.

Read more
megachile_sp_boyd

Know your native pollinators: Leafcutter bees

Megachilidae (commonly referred to as leafcutter, mason, orchard or cuckoo bees) are a large family of solitary nesters with distinctive and fascinating behaviors. Many are easily recognizable and can be attracted to your yard with artificial nesting boxes.

Read more
colletes_titusensis_face-USGSBee

Know your native pollinators: Polyester bees

Colletids are one of the smaller bee families in Florida, but are diverse in size and appearance. They’re named for the unique cellophane-like substance that many females secrete to line the walls of their nest cells.

Read more
Common eastern bumble bee (Bombus impatiens) on purple thistle (Cirsium horridulum) Photo by Mary Keim

Know your native pollinators: Bumble bees

Bumble bees are very efficient pollinators because they “buzz pollinate.” The bee grabs onto a flower and vibrates its flight muscles but not its wings. This causes the flower to release its pollen. It also creates an audible buzz at the frequency of a middle C note. The genus name Bombus comes from the Greek bombos, which means “buzzing sound.”

Read more

Know your native pollinators: Cuckoo bees

Cuckoo bees are often mistaken for wasps because their body shape resembles a wasp, and they are nearly hairless. They also lack the pollen baskets that most bees have on their legs because they do not collect pollen for their young.

Read more
Eastern carpenter bee (Xylocopa virginica) on Spotted beebalm (Monarda punctata)

Know your native pollinators: Carpenter bees

Many Floridians become familiar with carpenter bees by accident. They may notice a hole that appears to have been drilled into unpainted wood around their homes with a sawdust pile beneath it. Or they might hear a buzzing sound coming from within the hole. Both are telltale signs of carpenter bees.

Read more

More buzz about pollinators

Chris delivers his pollinator pots to FWF staff.

Create a pollinator garden in a pot!

Chris Waltz, volunteer extraordinaire and wildflower-gardening enthusiast, was inspired by people saying they can’t grow natives because they live in an apartment, condo, or other small space. He started thinking: They grow houseplants and annuals; why can’t they grow natives the same…

Read more
Xerces milkweeds conservation guide cover

Review of Xerces Society’s Milkweed Guide

Many of us are aware of the monarch’s population decline that has been well documented by researchers. Weather, habitat destruction of overwintering grounds in California and Mexico, and loss of food source on migration routes have caused great concern in the last…

Read more
bee-tower

Bringing the buzz back to your garden

In the last decade or so, honey bee populations worldwide have significantly diminished due to unknown causes. Less known is the fact that native bee populations in North America are also in decline. As more rural and wild landscape becomes suburban and…

Read more
bee-partridge-pea

Bring native bees to your landscape

Do you enjoy juicy watermelons, local blueberries and strawberries and fresh Florida orange juice? How about carrots, broccoli, almonds and apples? If you do, please thank an insect! More than 100 crops are dependent on insect pollination, resulting in an economic value…

Read more

Are non-native milkweeds killing monarch butterflies?

Tropical milkweed can enable monarchs to continue breeding well into fall and winter, causing populations to persist longer in certain areas than they naturally would. Unfortunately, this can foster higher than normal infection rates by a lethal protozoan parasite, Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (OE).…

Read more

Resources for protecting pollinators

10 Easy Wildflowers for Butterflies and Bees

24-page booklet featuring planting and caring guides for 10 species of Florida native wildflowers, as well as information on the bees and butterflies that they attract and support.  Download here

Guide for Choosing Native Wildflowers and Plants

Guide to over 70 wildflowers, shrubs, vines and grasses that are native to Florida and work well in home landscapes. Helps in  selection of plants that are suitable for geographic location, soil and light conditions. Also helps in choosing plants based on color,  season of bloom, and type of pollinators attracted.
Download here.

Florida Wildflowers and Butterflies

Beautiful full color, legal-sized, 2-sided brochure focuses on the relationships between plants and butterflies, funded by the Florida Wildflower Foundation. Download pdf here.

“Butterflies are self-propelled flowers.”
— Robert A. Heinlen