The Birds and the Bees!
Elly Maxwell is an entomologist at Dow Gardens in Midland, she is all abuzz about “pollinators.”
What is a pollinator? We may have learned about “the birds and the bees” in school, but Elly concisely explains it again. Bees, butterflies and other pollinators visit flowers, pick up some of the pollen on their bodies, then spread it as they visit other flowers. This ensures a plant’s reproduction.
Pollinators are important to us because they keep the food chain going. Elly reminds us that most of what we eat originally came from a plant.
Home gardeners can attract beneficial pollinators by planting colorful and sweet-smelling flowers that will bloom throughout the season—from spring to fall--including spring bulbs, followed by other flowers like marigolds, zinnias, then asters and goldenrod. She also advises providing a source of water for the pollinators, and to practice careful, balanced pest management.
Elly says her favorite pollinator is the European Honeybee. As a beekeeper, she enjoys all of the sights, sounds and smells of a busy hive!