Besides the bees
July 3, 2020 2:12 PM   Subscribe

Happy (Belated) Pollinator Week! US Forest Service's Pollinator of the Month includes Bats, Bees, Beetles, Birds, Butterflies, Flies, Moths, Mosquitos, and Wasps. What what? Yes, snow pool mosquitos, flower flies, and pollen wasps are all important pollinators (Pollen wasps look like yellow jackets but "are more like Ferdinand the Bull, who was more interested in smelling flowers.") And don't forget the cacao pollinator, the chocolate midge.

Rather attract some butterflies? Try "unsavory foodstuffs, such as moist animal droppings, urine and rotting fruits" as butterfly-friendly resources, in addition to region-specific milkweed species. And watch out for neonics all-in-one garden products.

Pollinator Partnership features the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge map, planting guides, downloadable posters and more.

Previously on MeFi: USGS Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Program.
posted by spamandkimchi (10 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Oh lovely, lovely post! Thank you for doing this one. Too often people don't realize how much pollination is done by animals besides bees and it is only the plight of the bees that people are aware of. It's of supreme importance to make people understand the role other insects (and some birds and msmsls) play and the danger they all are in. Thank you once again! I hope everyone reads at least a few of these.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 2:23 PM on July 3 [2 favorites]

Yes! Among the bumblebees on my butterfly weed I saw some syrphid flies today. And I learned recently that bumblebee tongue length varies by species and they require different flower types. This Beecology Project page has information about providing nectar sources for them.
posted by Botanizer at 2:51 PM on July 3 [3 favorites]

Our apricot and walnut trees finally fruited this year. Almost certainly because we introduced mason bees.
posted by aniola at 3:39 PM on July 3 [1 favorite]

Happy pollinator Week! We also introduced mason bees this year and six free tubes of cocoons became 35 tubes in our diy bee house. We were inspired by this cool book we picked up.
posted by klausman at 4:00 PM on July 3 [4 favorites]

For more on the European honeybee's undeserved reputation and the importance of other pollinators in commercial agriculture, see this podcast from Sarah Taber.
posted by contraption at 10:05 PM on July 3 [2 favorites]

Hello, bees!!! 🐝🍯
posted by Kitchen Witch at 2:34 AM on July 4

Plant, water, and fertilize your gardens.
posted by Afghan Stan at 6:51 AM on July 4

Surely that should be "beelated."
posted by praemunire at 2:19 PM on July 4 [3 favorites]

This makes me question all those statements that are like "oh it'll be fine, actually" whenever there is a discussion around eliminating all mosquitoes. I used to find a lot of comfort in that because I hate mosquitoes but I guess nothing in life is ever easy or uncomplicated.
posted by coolname at 1:53 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]

'Where the bat sucks there suck I' doesn't have quite the same resonance unless you imagine it as a line from Twelfth Night of the Living Dead or something, though.

But as to mosquitoes, a friend who lives on an island in Puget Sound on property with two small ponds and does not use pesticides or weed killers of any kind did not see a single mosquito last summer because her land has become practically a riot of frog and bird life. She does have to put up with the occasionally unedifying spectacle of herons spearing large frogs on their beaks before taking them to edge of the pond and swallowing them whole, however.
posted by jamjam at 2:18 PM on July 10 [3 favorites]

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