Did you know?
Doug Tarry Homes proudly plants native species of wildflowers in each of our developments in “patches/pathways” to help assist various pollinators (i.e., butterflies and bees) to get the food and shelter they need in order to contribute to the overall pollination of many important flowers and fruit plants that we rely on on a daily basis.
Some examples of these wildflower patches can be seen in areas such as: around the woodlot in Miller’s Pond, in Parish Park in the Miller’s Pond subdivision, along the linear multi-use trail in the Harvest Run subdivision and to be planted in the upcoming park in Harvest Run.
What is a pollinator patch/pathway?
Pollinator patches/pathways is a term that describes native plant-filled habitat that supports local bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects. Pollinator patches can be established in any new or existing lawn, garden, balcony, or windowsill by planting native wildflowers and shrubs.
Although pollinator patches/pathways may look like weeds, they are intentionally kept to be as naturalized as possible with maintenance (i.e., mowing) occurring every 1- 2 years so as to not disturb the pollinators who depend on them as often as possible.
What are pollinators and why are they important?
Pollinators are animals and insects that carry pollen from one plant to another. The act of pollination is important because it leads to the fertilization, and successful seed and fruit production for plants. Pollination ensures that a plant will produce full-bodied fruit and a full set of viable seeds.
Worldwide, roughly 1,000 plants grown for food, beverages, fibers, spices and medicines need to be pollinated by animals in order to produce the goods on which we depend on. Some examples of the foods and beverages produced with the help of pollinators include: apples, blueberries, chocolate, coffee, almonds etc.
Insect pollinators are a huge part of overall economic success. The economic value of the act of pollination in natural ecosystems is so large that oftentimes it is difficult to calculate. Natural areas that are mainly supported by pollinators contribute to a number of factors to assist the natural environment such as: erosion control, air cleaning, feed and shelter wildlife. When considering their value in the agricultural sector, pollinators are credited with supporting over 35% of all crop production. The general economic value of pollination is estimated to range from 215 to 529 billion dollars on a global scale. In Canada, the act of insect pollination (including species such as honey bees) is estimated to directly contribute 3.1 billion dollars to national crop production.
Pollinators have been in decline over the past couple of years due largely in part to their loss of habitat, chemical misuse, introduction of invasive plant and animal species, and diseases and parasites. The main issue of habitat loss for pollinators happens in forms of extremes that are well known such as turning a natural site to concrete, the logging and cutting of trees in a forest, the ploughing of grassland or even the damming of a river. However, habitat loss also occurs in the less discussed or thought about ways such as changing one type of natural area to another kind of greenspace. A mowed yard or even a manicured park might provide habitat for some species, but they also highly alter the area which then cannot provide the resources necessary to support a diverse community of pollinators.
Therefore, it is so important to understand just how drastic the impact of what the world would look like without pollinators. Without pollinators, the world would be affected economically, environmentally and agriculturally in so many ways that we oftentimes cannot fathom. It is more important now than ever to work towards ensuring that pollinators are protected and will be able to thrive for many generations to come in order to help all of the systems that are supported by them.
How can you help?
A couple of the ways that you can help pollinators thrive and survive are:
- Planting and cultivating native/wildflower species in your garden
- Not using pesticides often
- Spreading awareness of the importance of pollinators to our environment and for our food supply.
“Why Are Pollinators Important? | Bee Better Manitoba.” Beebettermb.ca, beebettermb.ca/why-are-pollinators-important#:~:text=Plants%20are%20an%20important%20foundation. Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.
“Breadcrumbs.” Pollinator.org, 2011, www.pollinator.org/pollinators.
Lets Talk Science. “Pollinators Are Important!” Let’s Talk Science, 9 June 2020, letstalkscience.ca/educational-resources/stem-in-context/pollinators-are-important.
US Forest Service, FM-RM-VE. “Why Is Pollination Important?” Fs.fed.us, 2019, www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/importance.shtml.