June is the month of pollinators. And, if you are like me, you are passionate about pollinators. Hence, we should read on and learn a few facts you may not have known. Pollinating is not just for winged creatures. Small mammals help too. I won’t go into all the scientific jargon and confuse everybody. I’ll try to keep it simple.
Everybody knows that bees and butterflies help to pollinate flowers, trees, shrubs, and vegetables. Without them, the food chain would be disrupted. However, their importance is largely ignored and chemical pest control is still widely used. When chemical particles carry on the wind, they potentially kill more than just the problematic species. It can decimate every other pollinator in the vicinity. However, it’s not just the 6 and 8-legged things that help to pollinate.
Would you believe that bats are also great pollinators? Actually, some species of fruit bats visit blooms for nectar and the insects that the flowers attract. While they are just going about their business they aren’t aware of the role they play in the ecosystem. While visiting the flowers, they unwittingly get pollen on their faces and fur. When they visit the next flower, they leave behind some pollen from the last flower. Science has shown that a single bat may visit 30 flowers or more in one night. Along with all the mosquitos they eat, I think bats are pretty valuable.
Small rodents also help to pollinate potted plants and lower growers, while doing their thing and foraging around for seed or a tiny morsel of deliciousness. Then, pollen gets on their fur as they walk through the blooms looking for a snack. After that, it will be deposited on the next bloom they touch. You get the picture, right?
Building a diverse area that offers up pollinator favorites will help to balance the ecosystem in your area. However, don’t just plant some random flowers and watch them feed. Plant some host plants for them to lay their eggs on so the baby caterpillar has the plant to eat when it emerges from its chrysalis. Possibly, you could be lucky enough to watch the entire life cycle of the butterflies! If you do, we would love to see pictures!
Feel free to send pictures to email@example.com, along with your name and town. Like us on Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram. We will post your pic and give you a shout-out. Then you will be entered to win a Mitchell’s Nursery Prize Pack.