Cel­e­brate our pol­li­na­tors

The Standard Journal - - LIFESTYLE - By Ricky Ens­ley [email protected]

This is the week to cel­e­brate pol­li­na­tors.

Pol­li­na­tors are fac­ing in­creas­ing chal­lenges of habi­tat loss, par­a­site and disease pres­sure, and the un­in­tended con­se­quences of pes­ti­cide mis­use. Any­one – from in­di­vid­ual home gar­den­ers to com­mer­cial and agri­cul­tural prop­erty man­agers – can pro­mote pol­li­na­tor health by se­lect­ing and plant­ing ap­pro­pri­ate plants.

When most folks think of pol­li­na­tors, hon­ey­bees, na­tive EHHV DQG EXWWHUÀLHV top their list. There are other pol­li­na­tors such as mason bees, dig­ger bees, leaf cut­ter bees and even bum­ble bees that help pol­li­nate our plants to pro­duce seed and fruit.

Here are some rec­om­mended plants that are at­trac­tive to bees and butWHUÀLHV DQG VRPHWLPHV KDYH DGGLWLRQDO ZLOGOLIH EHQH¿WV

This tree has col­or­ful fall IROLDJH DQG UHG ÀRZHUV LQ early spring, and a good re­source for bees and birds.

Mound-shaped with VWULNLQJ ZKLWH ÀRZHU VSLUHV and at­trac­tive gold fall fo­liage. It also has seed and fo­liage that are poi­sonous to hu­mans, so be­ware.

Very showy red flower dusters can be a foot long, good for at­tract­ing hum­ming­birds and bees. Be­ware, the seeds and shoots are poi­sonous to hu­mans.

Droop­ing clus­ters of white ÀRZHUV DQG UHG SXUSOH EHUries from the branches are EHQH¿FLDO WR EHHV DQG ELUGV alike.

White and laven­der flow­ers at­tract bees and EXWWHUÀLHV ZKLOH FOXVWHUV of shiny pur­ple (or white) berries at­tract birds.

A na­tive to North­west Ge­or­gia and Polk County, this tree with heart-shaped shiny leaves and showy, pink flow­ers is good for the com­mon bees that are at­tracted to it. Flow­er­ing quince Early bloom­ing and at­trac­tive to bees.

Also a na­tive tree, it blooms with white or pink “flow­ers”, red berries, and of­ten has scar­let fall fo­liage. A real beauty in any yard.

)ODW KHDGV RI IHUWLOH ÀRZHUV fringed with non-fer­tile flow­ers are at­trac­tive to bees.

Whitish-green conVSLFXRXV ÀRZHUV ZLWK the po­ten­tial for col­or­ful fall fo­liage, this is good source of pollen and nec­tar for bees

Tulip tree This long, straight trunked WUHH IHDWXUHV VKRZ\ ÀRZHUV and star shaped leaves that turn bright gold in the fall. The Tulip tree is valu­able for birds, bees, and butWHUÀLHV 7KH\ VHUYH DV WKH lar­val host to the East­ern Tiger Swal­low Tail.

Glossy, semi-ever­green leaves with clus­ters of red blooms and red berries are very at­trac­tive to bees, but­terÀLHV KXPPLQJELUGV DQG WKH IUXLW EHQH¿WV PDQ\ ZLOGOLIH

Abun­dant white and pink ÀRZHUV DQG QRQ VKRZ\ IUXLW heav­ily used by wildlife. It also may be of ben­e­fit to na­tive bees.

:KLWH ÀRZHUV LQ WKH VSULQJ are fan­tas­tic for honey bees and bum­ble bees.

3HQGXORXV ZKLWH ÀRZHUV and yel­low fall fo­liage, the Black Cherry at­tracts com­mon bees such as mim­ing bees, bum­ble bees, and mason bees.

Cel­e­brate our pol­li­na­tors by pro­tect­ing them and their habi­tat. Find out more about how by con­tact the Polk County Ex­ten­sion of­fice at 770-749-2142, or e-mail­ing [email protected]

Ricky Ens­ley

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