How to protect and increase pollinators in your landscape
Published May 1, 2019
Protecting & enhancing pollinators in urban landscapes (US North Central Rgn) helps you attract pollinators and protect them from pesticides. Download full publication or click articles below to view sections of publication. Author: David Smitley, MSU
Flowers throughout the year
The best habitats for bees have flowering plants rich in nectar and pollen throughout the growing season. Survey your yard and garden to see when flowers are abundant and when they are scarce.
Creating and maintaining pollinator friendly habitat
Many types of insects feed on pollen and nectar, although two types of pollinators receive the most attention: bees and butterflies.
Do not spray pollinator-attractive plants with insecticides when open flowers are present
It is clear to most people that insecticides sprayed onto open flowers can be highly toxic to bees, even if they are sprayed early in the morning or at night when bees are not present.
Appendix 1 - Bee impact and recommendations for use for fungicides and bactericides
Biological control and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for protecting pollinators
For the past 30 years or more, most tree care professionals and many informed property owners have been managing destructive insects by minimizing pesticide use and encouraging predators and parasitoids that naturally keep pests under control.
Best Management Practices
Most pesticide applications by tree care professionals are due to a few exotic pests.
Protecting pollinators during home lawn grub control
The most widely used insecticides for grub infestations of lawns are neonicotinoid insecticides, which are toxic to pollinators if they are sprayed over flowers.
Pollinators in urban landscapes
Most plants need pollination to reproduce and grow fruit. While some plants are wind-pollinated, many require assistance from insects, bats, hummingbirds or other animals.
Selection, planting and care of trees and shrubs to avoid the need for pesticides
The best way to minimize pollinator exposure to pesticides is to create and maintain healthy landscapes with plants that rarely require a pesticide application.
Introduction to protecting and increasing pollinators in your landscape
Most of the fruit and vegetables we eat would not exist if we did not have honey bees and native bees to pollinate the flowers they developed from.
Better habitat for bees
In general, herbs and garden perennials are good for bees, while most annual bedding plants are less attractive to them.
References for protecting and enhancing pollinators in urban landscapes.
Considerations for disease management
It was previously thought that fungicides and bactericides are harmless to honey bees and other pollinators, and in fact, most fungicides are still considered relatively safe, even while spraying when pollinators are present.
Potential impact of mosquito and nuisance insect sprays on pollinators
Fogging or spraying for mosquitoes or biting flies around the yard and garden with an insecticide can be very harmful to pollinators.
Landscape plants and wildflowers attractive to butterflies for nectar feeding
Many of the flowering plants attractive to bees will also be visited by butterflies. However, butterflies are attracted to flowers almost entirely for feeding on nectar.
How to control invasive pests while protecting pollinators and other beneficial insects
Pesticides should never be applied unless they are necessary to maintain plant health.
Factors that threaten pollinator health
Most researchers agree that a combination of factors is causing declines in bee and pollinator populations, including loss of habitat or flowers that provide pollen and nectar, pesticide exposure, parasites and pathogens.