Pollinators are vital to the continued existence of most plant species, the production of agricultural crops and in effect to terrestrial life on earth. Each of us can take actions that can benefit pollinators.
• Plant native pollinator plants. A good pollinator garden has native plants that attract and support pollinators at all stages of their life cycle. Included should be flowers that provide pollen and nectar from early spring through late fall. Add flowering trees. Use plants with flowers of varying shapes. Add bunch grasses to the planting for nest sites for ground-nesting bumble bees.
• Set your mower to mow at a higher level. Leave dandelion and clover flowers in spring for pollinators that are active early.
• Provide habitat for bumble bees.
• Buy organic and locally produced food.
• Join citizen-science efforts to track pollinator populations, such as the BeeSpotter
program of the University of Illinois.
• Provide shelter and overwintering areas for pollinators.
• Use chemicals only when necessary and use the least toxic chemical options.
• Save some dead limbs or logs in your yard or garden for native bees to nest in. Conserve snags, brush piles and pithy stemmed plants.
• Install a native bee nesting box.
• Provide bare patches of soil for ground-nesting bees.
• Develop a woodland, prairie, pond or wetland habitat.
• Educate others about wildlife habitat issues.
• Encourage land managers to increase native wildlife habitat.
• Support conservation efforts for wildlife, such as the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund.
• Leave dead plant materials over winter including the stems and seed heads.