13 tweetable facts about pollinators

Bee on flower (Photo by NCC)

Bee on flower (Photo by NCC)

May 8, 2015 | by Wendy Ho | 0 Comments

Nature has always been a fascination of mine, sparking numerous moments of wonders and awe. Like the time when I first learned about how bee orchids are designed to entice certain pollinators leading to pseudocopulation - that blew my mind! As the season shifts towards warmer weather, more people are ditching the indoors for more time in nature. It’s also the perfect time to get acquainted with who’s visiting your gardens or pollinating the wildflowers in the green spaces surrounding your neighbourhood.

Share these fun facts and let everyone know just how amazing and important pollinators are!

DYK there are over 1,000 species of pollinating insects (including bees, butterflies, moths, beetles, and flies) in Canada? (Tweet this!)

DYK about 1 in every 3 bites of food depends on pollinators? (Tweet this!)

Flowers attract pollinators by colour and scent. Some even emit UV light (the last to fade at dusk), prolonging pollination. (Tweet this!)

Not all bees live in hives! Of Canada’s 800+ species of bees, about 90 percent are solitary. (Tweet this!)

DYK moths pollinate flowers during the day and at night? Talk about moths on the move! (Tweet this!)

Plant w/ purpose for pollinators: Choose a succession of blooms for a steady supply of nectar and pollen, spring to fall. (Tweet this!)

It only takes 250 female blue orchard bees to pollinate an acre of apples vs. 20,000 honey bee foragers! (Tweet this!)

Squash bees forage for pollen only on Curcubita crops: pumpkins, squashes and gourds.  (Tweet this!)

A well-designed backyard can offer pollinators more living space, food and safety from predators. (Tweet this!)

Pollinators that tunnel in the ground help improve soil quality by mixing nutrients and improving water flow around roots. (Tweet this!)

Tongue length and flower depth affects pollination! (Tweet this!)

Tip: Leaving rotting logs, rocks and leaf piles in your yard helps provide habitat for pollinators during frigid months. (Tweet this!)

The female mason bee requires mud to seal each egg chamber.  No mud = no mason bees. Moist clay in a shallow hole works best. (Tweet this!)

Sources:

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service

http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/gardening.shtml

A Guide to Toronto’s pollinators

http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/downloads/Pollinator_Guide_5pg.pdf

The Xeres Society for Invertebrate Conservation

http://www.xerces.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/pollinator-three-steps_fact_sheet2.pdf

About the Author

Wendy Ho is Nature Conservancy of Canada's editorial coordinator.

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