Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pollinator Week: Thursday

Pollinator monitoring in the garden

This spring, you might see clusters of volunteers walking earnestly along next to our new Pollinator Garden, talking, pointing, and making little marks on a clipboard. They are monitoring the garden, either for bloom time or for pollinator activity.

Pollinator monitoring goes like this: The volunteers scan the area around them, taking their time and looking everywhere. Each time they see a bee, butterfly, hummingbird, or other pollinator, they mark its presence on the tally sheet.

So far this year, we have seen very few pollinators. The bloom monitoring might explain this. Our plants are tiny and so far there have been just a few flowers. Most pollinators are attracted to large clusters of blossoms, and our new plants need more time before they can produce a sufficient amount of flowers. But if we start our records now, we hope that this time next year we will have much larger numbers of winged visitors. Pollinator Week 2015 will show that the plants really are attracting the species for which they were planted.

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