Cow Pies and Apple Pies

One of the biggest factors affecting pollinators is habitat loss. A good example of the impact of this is what happens to the Monarch butterfly whose sole source of food for its larval stage is milkweed. Monoculture cropping, GMO crops which encourage intensive herbicide use within and around crop fields, and expansion of corn plantings for ethanol production have significantly reduced the number of milkweed plants. The loss of the plants has resulted in a precipitous decline in population of this iconic and once abundant butterfly. Milkweed flowers are also great nectar source for bees too, so the loss of milkweed has impacted more than just the Monarch. Monocultures have affected honeybees and many of the native bees similarly. Once one crop is done blooming, there's nothing else for them to feed on. As a result, some species of bumblebees that were once abundant are now threatened. Nesting sites and overwintering sites for hundreds of different native bees have also been on the decline as suburbs expand into wildflower meadows, woodlots and wetlands converting diverse habitats into monoculture lawns. Bees Love Good Pasture Management and Cover Crops The good news is that the way you manage your pastures can provide pollinators with the habitat they need to thrive, and to help us survive.  In addition to

All the grazing management tips you need

Subscribe to read this article and over 2,500 more!

Subscribe today!

If you're already a subscriber, log in here.

4 thoughts on “Cow Pies and Apple Pies

  1. Could someone give a little more information on the bee house? Are the tubes cardboard? Where are they found? Is there a specific length? Are they just for protection or for making honey?

    1. It looks like the tubes are the stems of common reed, the tall, invasive, wetland grass. However, they do make paper tubes for specially designed nesting blocks. They’re for native, tunnel-nesting species like orchard bees. Female bees stock them with nectar and pollen and lay eggs in them, then the larvae develop on their own.

  2. Native asters (Symphyotrichum species) are good species to provide pollinators with late summer and fall nectar and pollen. Some will continue blooming until hard frost. There are a range of species adapted to wet soil, dry soil, sun, and shade.

Comments are closed.

Translate »