• Bumble on Iris

Where would we BEE without pollinators?

Pollinator fun facts:

  • Native pollinators include bees, wasps, butterflies, beetles, hummingbirds, bats, and moths
  • Honey bees visit 5 million flowers to make on pint of honey
  • 1 in 3 bites of the food we eat depends on pollinators
  • 38% of pollinator species are threatened or in decline
  • 90% of Monarch Butterfly populations have fallen over the past 20 years

Pollinator populations are declining, threatened by loss of habitat, disease, and pesticide use. The GOOD news is that anyone can support native pollinators with conscious choices. You can help by planting a pollinator garden to provide habitat, protection and food for native pollinators. Tips for success:

Butterfly

  • Use plants that provide nectar and pollen sources for a wide range of native bees, beetles, butterflies and birds
  • Provide a water source for pollinators
  • Plant the garden in a sunny area with wind breaks
  • Create large "pollinator targets" of native and non-invasive plants
  • Establish continuous bloom throughout the growing season
  • Eliminate or minimize use of pesticides and herbicides in your garden and yard

Sunflower and bumble bee

At Kitsap Conservation District, we installed a pollinator hedgerow and garden in Fall 2020. Additionally, in the GRACE Garden we are always looking for ways to support pollinators. We planted a large herb garden to supply herbs to the food banks and provide nectar and pollen, plant cover crops like buckwheat and crimson clover for healthy soils and mid and late-season blooms, and allow overwintered crops like broccoli to flower in early spring for pollinators.

Pollinator Patch Planting Project!

Herb Garden Plan

Herb Garden Plan

A great and tasty way to support native pollinators is with an herb garden. Planting perennial and annual herbs including oregano, thyme, chives, lavender, dill and cilantro all benefit pollinators – and eaters! Culinary herbs are a tasty way to support native pollinators! You can plant a Basic 10 Pollinator Herb Garden. This is enough for a 4'x6' raised bed or 25' row. It will be beautiful, edible and pollinator-friendly!

Basic 10 Herb Garden

  • Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
  • Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)
  • Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana)
  • Peppermint (Mentha xpiperita)
  • Greek Oregano (O. vulgara ssp)
  • Flat-leaf Italian Parsley (P. crispum var. neapolitanum)
  • Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
  • Sage (Salvia officinalis)
  • Tarragon (Aremisia drancunculus)
  • Thyme (Thymus spp.)


Additional suggestions:

  • Lavender (Lavandula spp.)
  • Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
  • Dill (Anethun graveolens)
  • Lemon Thyme (Thymus spp.)
  • Cilantro / Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)
  • Anise Hyssop (Agastache rugosa)
  • French Sorrel (Rumex acetosa)


Edible Flowers

  • Nasturtium (Tropaeolum spp.)
  • Marigolds (Tagetes spp.)
  • Borage (Borago officinalis)
  • German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)

 

Citizen Science supports pollinator conservation science

Citizen Science supports pollinator conservation science by engaging volunteers to collect data on pollinator activity in yards, gardens, and parks using mobile apps.  The baseline information gathered by citizen science assists researchers identify areas of concern and gain valuable information on native pollinators. The Pacific Northwest Bumblebee Atlas is a Citizen Scientist Project that is also a great activity for families!

The National Association of Conservation Districts

The National Association of Conservation Districts has extensive resources for professionals and educators to spread the word about the importance of pollinators.

The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation

The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation is an international nonprofit organization that works to protect native pollinators, endangered species conservation, and reducing pesticide use and impacts.  Their website has a wealth of resources for scientists, professionals, and others.  Check out their publications and citizen science programs.