On the Farm

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Sep 04

Pollinators and Beneficials Insects

Posted on September 4, 2018 at 11:48 AM by Allan Warren

PollinatorsThree-quarters of all flowering plants and roughly 35% of food crops depend on pollinators to reproduce. In addition to the familiar European honey bee, more than 600 species of native bees in Washington contribute to the important work of pollinating favorites like squashes, cucumbers, berries and apples just to name a few.

The abundance and diversity of native bees on a farm, and their contribution to pollination and crop productivity are enhanced when their basic habitat needs are met including nesting and overwintering sites and flowers on which to forage. And the same flowering plants that attract pollinators also support beneficial insects that protect crops from pest damage.

Interested in bringing more pollinators and beneficial bugs to your farm or garden? The PCD has cost share opportunities for practices to incorporate more of the habitat they need into your farmscape, from establishing hedgerows, windbreaks and field borders to optimizing cover crop plantings, orchard ground covers and pastures for pollinators and beneficials.

Eric Mader will be walking us through these habitat enhancing practices from deciding which ones are appropriate for your situation, to site prep and plant choice, to managing plantings for the long term. Visit xerces.org/pollinator-conservation/agriculture/ to learn more about Xerces efforts to promote habitat for pollinators and beneficials on farms, and hope to see you in October!