If you drive through the historical Bohemian Village in Cedar Rapids, you can see large bright yellow hexagonal structures covered with hundreds of bees made from recycled materials.
By considering the nuances of bees’ dietary needs, we can design nutritionally balanced seed mixes that help pollinators shore up our ecosystems and food supplies.
There is enough land, more than enough land, throughout the Midwest (and beyond) to support monarchs and still grow more corn and soy than we need. There is enough land, along the highways, in the grassy green circles and triangles of interchanges, in yards and parks, on campuses, in vacant lots—anywhere, really—to grow a patch of three-season-blooming wildflowers, including milkweed.
Beneath some solar arrays, pollinator-friendly plants, fruits, vegetables and forage are cropping up in place of turfgrass or gravel.
Given that here in the Midwest it’s still planting season, and pollinators still (always!) need good habitat, I hope that anyone reading this will feel inspired to add more native plants to their gardens.
If pollinator health is made a priority, to be successful much current policy and practice must change.
Burkle and many other ecologists have hypothesized that wild pollinators are key to speeding up the process by which burned forests bounce back from barrenness to fecundity.