Butterflies, bumblebees, and bees are increasingly difficult to observe in the garden. And yet our winged friends are not shy and like to spin from flower to flower all day.
The massive use of phytosanitary products and the disappearance of their environment has led to a general decrease in insect populations, in France as in the rest of the world. However, we have everything to gain by helping these little animals to settle in our garden.
The usefulness of pollinators in the garden
There are thousands of insects on our territory that feed on pollen or floral nectar. By foraging from flower to flower, they play an essential role in the pollination of plants, that is to say in their reproduction.
Their disappearance would be fraught with consequences: the impoverishment of biodiversity, absence of our favorite fruits and vegetables from the stalls (red fruits, apples, squash, tomatoes, and grapes to name a few) and parallel disappearance of a frightening quantity of plants.
To welcome these little proteges at home and participate on its scale in the preservation of biodiversity, it suffices to offer them a nourishing and protective environment.
Plants that attract pollinators, and in particular bees, are generally designated by the term “honey”. This word means “who makes honey” and therefore does not reflect reality. These are the bees that make honey, transforming the raw materials they find in flowers.
So what terms should be used?
Nectariferous plant: said to be a plant that produces a significant amount of nectar, which is the main raw material of honey and source of food for many insects.
Pollen plant: is said to be a plant that produces a large amount of pollen, a source of food for many foraging insects.
Designing your garden for pollinators
First essential step: prohibit the use of pesticides in your garden. Instead, opt for methods that can be used in organic farming and that respect insects.
Then plant species that attract them. The flowering of nectar and pollinating plants must be abundant and spread over the whole year to provide food as generously and as long as possible for insects. Even on a city balcony or in a small garden, your gesture can make a difference.
Nectar- bearing flowers: lavender, thyme, Agastache, basil, centaury, borage, echinacea, cloves, mints, lemon balm, nepeta, dandelion, sage, viperine, verbena, clover, etc.
Pollinating flowers: mauves, St. John’s wort, poppies, poppies, valerian, dahlias, bellflowers, melilots, snapdragons, echinacea, Agastache …
Finally, create a protective environment where insects can find refuge: various hedges, insect hotels, less maintained parts of the garden, orchards, and wooded areas … Without forgetting a water point so that they can drink.