When we think of pollinators and the issues that they’re facing, images of monarch butterflies and honeybees usually pop into our minds.
However, pollinators are a much bigger group than these two insect species.
The second installment of the series will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 22, and will focus on planting for pollinators and the types of pollinators that different native flowers draw in.
“I’m doing this for the whole state because we have people from here, there, everywhere,” said environmental education coordinator Bryanna Kuhlman.
She will start with some interesting information about pollinator species, including the fact that mosquitoes are pollinators because they drink nectar.
“Male mosquitoes don’t have a mouthpiece to bite you,” Kuhlman said. “Females also eat nectar too.”
Then she will delve into why it’s important to plant natives in your landscaping. For instance, native plants are adapted to local soil types and to the climate, which means they require less maintenance.
“Then I’ll talk about tips and tricks to starting a pollinator garden,” Kuhlman said. “These are overarching techniques but we recommend you check out your soil type.”
Tips will include finding a sunny location near a water source, incorporating plants for all parts of pollinators’ life cycles, having nectar sources blooming from April-October and then letting the area run pretty wild.
“Typically, butterflies like untidy landscaping, so you don’t have to worry as much about maintenance when landscaping with natives,” Kuhlman said.
If you want certain flowers in your yard, Kuhlman will go over what pollinators different varieties of flowers will draw in, and if you want certain pollinators in your garden, she will also address what to plant to draw in your favorite butterflies or bees. She recommends planting to draw in butterflies because “they act as a keystone species, because if you plant for butterflies you’ll have habitat for other pollinator species.”
The free Pollinator Education Series features in-depth information and is geared toward teen and adult audiences, although all ages are welcome to attend the approximately one-hour programs.
The final program in the Pollinator Education Series will be on native bees and will be held 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 22. For more information on this series as well as other free Dickinson County Nature Center programming, visit our programs page or call 712-336-6352. You can also find the latest happenings on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.