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Kitchen Gardening

Pollinating Insects in the Garden

Just like the predatory insects, you'll want to lure the pollinators to the garden.

Do you see a hummingbird? Look again. Sphinx moths are often mistaken for hummers.   Photo by kaibera87 under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.

This is the second group of beneficial insects called the pollinators. Just like the predatory insects, you’ll want to lure pollinators to the garden so that you’ll have plenty of fruit, veggies, and flower production. Some of these insects you’ll be very familiar with, but there may be a couple that you haven’t met yet.

Pollinating Insects

  • Bees – There are many different type of bees that can pollinate plants and some are around during different phases of the growing season. So, it makes good sense to plant a nice variety of plants to beep them coming around.
  • Butterflies – Butterflies are a rather obvious pollinating insect. I consider them flying flowers and would invite them in no matter what.
  • Lacewings – This is truly one of the most effective beneficials that you can have loitering about your garden. They’re lovely as adults; dressed in light, bright greens and wearing fairy-wings. Adults will pollinate and their children will eat the things that go crunch (on your plants) in the night.
  • Moths – Moths are terrific pollinators but usually do so at night. So they end up pollinating plant flowers that are open during that time. One of the daytime pollinating moths is the Sphinx, hawk, or hummingbird moth (Sphingidae) which is out in the day pollinating like crazy. Hawk moths usually mistaken for hummingbirds.
  • Flies – Usually one of the biggest pest we can think of right? Well, we aren’t talking about house flies here. But rather the Black Soldier flies, tachinid flies, syrphid flies, and bee flies. In fact, flies are only second to bees for pollinating plants.
  • Wasps – I know…I have you cringing now. But wasps will also pollinate flowers. What can I say?
  • Blue Mason Bees – These little blue bees are also called Orchard bees and are very often mistaken for flies. Many a gardener has wondered why flies are enjoying their roses never suspecting that they’re actually this gentle pollinator. This big, blue fly-looking bee doesn’t sting.

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