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.”
Be in the know about pollinators
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!
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.
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.”
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.
More buzz about pollinators
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…
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…
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…
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…
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).…
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 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.
“Butterflies are self-propelled flowers.”