When you mention the word pollinator, most people automatically think of honey bees. Very few people realize that the common honey bee is an import from Europe only arriving here in the 1600’s. Even fewer people know that the majority of Missouri animal pollinators are native to our state. Those pollinators are a very important resource for our native plants as well as the introduced plants.
Missouri pollinators include bees, butterflies, moths, wasps, flies, beetles, ants, and even hummingbirds. In order for us to promote these and other pollinators, we need to reduce or eliminate the use of insecticides, or at least select pesticides that are less toxic to pollinators. Aerial spraying, granular powders, microencapsulated formulations should all be avoided if possible; however, hand spraying very early in the morning or late evening when pollinators are less active is much more desirable.
Without our native pollinators, many native plants could not reproduce effectively. This would lead to a decline in our beautiful surroundings, but more importantly it would set off the balance of our ecosystem and change nature as we know it. With pollinators living in every kind of terrestrial habitat in the state, including prairies, forests, wetlands, backyards, and hedgerows, we should exercise good stewardship of any part of the earth that we can impact.