User avatar
webmaster
Site Admin
Posts: 9149
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 5:59 pm
Location: Amherst, MA USDA Zone 5a

Bees and the Importance of Cultivating Native Plants

Informative article in the New York Times about [url=https://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/30/garden/30GARDEN.html]Bees in your Garden[/url] and how native species of plants positively impacts the local native bee population and how non-native plants don't contribute to the local bee population/ecology.

...research that Gordon Frankie, an entomologist at the University of California, Berkeley, has begun... where he and his students have surveyed 1,000 different plants, both native and nonnative.

"Only 50 were native plants, but of that 50, 80 percent were attractive to pollinators," Professor Frankie said. "In contrast, only 10 percent of the 950 nonnatives were attractive to pollinators."

...Both honeybees and natives do an excellent job of pollinating such plants when they are around, but all these pollinators are in serious decline from many stressors, and scientists suspect that habitat loss is key.
Check out the article, it's a good read. :)

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

This dovetails with the research being done by Doug Tallamy at the University of Delaware, where he has been studying the effects of non-native species in wild ecosystems for decades now. Seems that even small displacements of native species in particular ecosystems can have major effects; Doug has been working in the desert lately where effects are magnified by the lack of flora in general.

We as gardeners can have profound effects on local ecosystems with what we plant. When we choose natives we have a far greater chance of positive impact and when we choose non-native we run a risk of negative impact.

The best thought here is the first part of the Hippocratic Oath, "First Do No Harm." If you use non-natives, make sure they stay in your garden and don't contribute germ plasm to invasive populations. But if you are open to other ideas and have the space, you can do so much better than that by using locally native species that offer food, shelter and habitat for our birds, butterflies and other garden denizens, because what good is a silent, still garden. We nurture our planet in our hobby, but we can nurture more than just plants...

HG
Scott Reil

wingdesigner
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2038
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 9:58 pm
Location: Michigan--LP(troll)

Refresh my memory--what is "germ plasm"? Fancy name for: ________
Happy Gardening,
Wing

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

Genetic material... :)

HG
Scott Reil

wingdesigner
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2038
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 9:58 pm
Location: Michigan--LP(troll)

ah. Thank you.
Happy Gardening,
Wing

Return to “Wildlife - Gardening with Local Critters in Mind”