New guide for encouraging pollinators

Handy, new, pocket-sized guide will help gardeners, farmers and landscapers support bee species.

New guide for encouraging pollinators

Bees of the Great Lakes Region and Wildflowers to Support Them” is a new Michigan State University Extension publication that provides an overview of the diverse community of wild and managed bees across the Great Lakes region. Packed with photos of the most common bee species and showing photographs and descriptions of wildflowers that are attractive to bees, the guide also provides a section on bee conservation with some practical steps to take.

Bees are essential for pollination of many crops and they also pollinate flowers in the garden and in wild areas, helping to support natural systems. Approaches to supporting these insects is generally similar for all habitats: provide them with some food (flowers), give them a place to nest (habitat or artificial cavities) and don’t kill them (use bee-safe insecticides or follow label restrictions to protect pollinators).

The guide contains 110 pages and is designed to fit in your pocket. The pollinator section offers great photos coupled with tips for identifying bee species, descriptions of their behavior and contribution to pollination. The featured herbaceous plants can be used in farms, gardens and urban land­scapes to encourage and meet the needs of bees. Each plant’s page describes preferred growing conditions, flow­er characteristics, common pollinators it attracts and best companion plants. Farmers and gardeners will find useful information for exploring these fas­cinating and valuable insects and will learn how adding native plant diversity into gardens, fields and other landscapes can provide bees with the resources they need to survive and thrive.

Bees of the Great Lakes Region and Wildflowers to Support Them” is available from the MSU Extension Bookstore for $10 per copy, and discounts are available for bulk purchases. Enter E3282 in the search box to find the publication.

Dr. Isaacs’ work is funded in part by MSU’s AgBioResearch.

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