Happy World Bee Day!
Lake Placid Land Conservancy is excited to celebrate bees today – all 30,000 species of them, but especially the 416 native to New York. Bees and other pollinators play an important role in our environment and conservation efforts, so we’re taking time to highlight their importance and inspire you to invite them into your yard.
Bees and other pollinators are responsible for pollinating over 180,000 different plant species and more than 1,200 crops – that’s 1/3 of the food that we eat! They contribute to the production of other essential goods like medicine, biofuels, and fabric, and studies show that areas with diverse pollinator populations are more resilient to climate change. It’s no wonder we dedicate an entire day to celebrate them!
May is the perfect time to do some gardening and make your property more pollinator friendly. A famous movie coined the phrase, “If you build it, he will come.” The same is true for gardening and attracting pollinators! If you want bees, butterflies, and birds to visit your yard, you need the habitat that supports them.
Many people know that monarch caterpillars only feed on milkweed, but many other plants and insects have similarly dependent relationships. Our native oak trees support 521 species of pollinators. Native cherry trees support 455 species. All offer additional ecological benefits, such as nesting sites for birds and mammals, protection from predators, and carbon sequestration. Big or small, if the plant is native to your space, you will attract pollinators. Check out the National Wildlife Federation’s online Native Plant Finder to find the best plants for your area – just type in your zip code!
- Diversity is your friend. Plant a variety of perennials, vegetables, shrubs, and trees that bloom from spring through fall. Planting in clusters will draw pollinators in – it also looks really pretty!
- Plant native. Native plants have adapted to our climate, soil, and the native pollinators in our area, which makes them more likely to thrive throughout the season.
- Embrace a more hands-off approach to gardening and landscaping. Leave the leaves, some dead trees, and patches of bare ground for native bees that need these spaces to nest in. Leave the stems of tall flowers standing over winter – bees and wasps will nest in the stalks and birds will feed on the seeds.
- Skip the pesticides. Pesticides can actually kill the bees and butterflies you’re working so hard to attract, not to mention other wildlife. Embrace some plant damage as habitat for pollinators. Reach out to your local Cooperative Extension office to seek natural pest control methods if necessary.
- Water is life. Incorporate bird baths, ponds, and shallow dishes into your landscape to provide important water sources for all pollinators.
- Buy some pollinator plants during our 3rd annual Adirondack Pollinator Project Plant Sale. All plants are native to the northeast and have been grown without the use of pesticides. Orders accepted until June 15th, 2020.
- Fill out the seed packet request form to have one of our native, wildflower seed packets mailed to your home.
- June 22-28 is National Pollinator Week. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for digital pollinator content – we’re bringing this year’s celebration to you virtually!
- We just relaunched our new and improved virtual pollinator garden tour! Scroll through the tour to learn more about the 16 gardens the Adirondack Pollinator Project has planted throughout the Park over the past few years. Save this link for the future as we will be updating the tour with new gardens as we plant them.