As an Orchardist, I am committed to nurturing our wild pollinators. We do keep several beehives to help with pollination, but our wild native insects also contribute to orchard and garden pollination.
Providing food for our native pollinators throughout the growing season is one of the most important things we do on the farm. Besides the flowering trees and plants that grow naturally in the uncultivated spaces around the farm, we deliberately grow flowering plants that will feed our insect pollinators from early Spring to late Fall.
However, in addition to providing food for pollinators during the growing season, it is also important to provide winter habitat. After all, insects need to survive the Winter to reproduce in the Spring!
Native insect pollinators overwinter either as adults, as larvae, or as eggs. This means they need a wide variety of winter habitats.
Some of our pollinators overwinter in the stems of plants. Others need bare ground to burrow into and create a nest. Some insects spend the winter under leaves and in brush piles. And some hibernate within the bark of trees.
By providing flowering plants throughout the Spring, Summer and Fall, and by making sure they have cozy winter habitats, we contribute to an abundance of wild pollinators in our orchards.