Last week I had the opportunity to attend an interesting day long workshop given by the Xerces Society on conservation of pollinators. It was a very interesting and informative day of presentations by people from the xerces society and from Rutgers University. I have become extremely interested in this subject especially this year since our pollinators seem to have diminished so much.
While a lot of the material they provided was aimed at farmers, who really need to be the ones that need to understand the importance of protecting pollinators there was a lot of material that can be used in the home garden as well.
While there was a very high turnout for the class, in fact it was full with a long waiting list, I had several friends who wanted to get on it but could not. I was disappointed to see that although the course was aimed at farmers only about half the people in the room where actually of that profession. There were quite a few master gardeners looking for education credits and some just interested gardeners. I truly commend these people because it is very important that we try as hard as possible to make a difference in our surroundings and help the pollinators but I was unhappy that more farmers had not attended as I am concerned that they are doing the most damage. However I may be wrong in some aspects of my hypothesis.
Over the next several weeks I will discuss many of the important points that were made at this workshop in an attempt to encourage everyone out there to create gardens that will help to attract pollinators and create habitats that will be irresistible to these creatures. Its easy to do and almost any person can do this. Even if you hate gardening, in fact if you do this might be the ideal thing for you to do as if its done right there is far less work to do once established than their would be to a ‘traditional’ garden.
The most important factors are to stop using pesticides and to embrace insect pollinators not just honey bees. Sadly far too many people are afraid of ‘bugs’ most in the mistaken belief that they are dangerous or will bite them. While a few are nasty bloodsuckers most are not. Learn to appreciate these gentle creatures and not just blindly eradicate them from our gardens. A lot of them are there to help you if you let them. Its up to you to appreciate and save your little corner of the world. YOU can make a big difference and start educating your friends and neighbours to make a difference too. All together you can change your world.