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June: National Pollinators Month



Most flowering plants require pollinators to reproduce, thus they play a large role in our food supply.


Flower shape has evolved to favor certain pollinators. For example, bees prefer gathering nectar from shallow, tubular flowers with landing platforms, butterflies are attracted to bright, clustered flowers, and some flowers even produce a dead animal smell to attract flies.


What do you think of when you think of Iowa's 300+ species of native bees? If you think of honey bees, think again. Honey bees are not native to North America. Rather than living in a hive and producing honey, Iowa's native bees are primarily solitary and are considered ground, plant, or wood nesters.


A few things you can do to support pollinators include:

A) Plant native flowers, to which our native pollinators are well adapted.

B) Leave some plant residue and bare soil to provide shelter to insects, especially those that overwinter.

C) Limit use of pesticide, which can harm pollinators.


This writeup was written originally as a Linn County social media post.

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