POLLINATOR PATHWAY PROJECTS
- HOW THEY HELP
All of our projects at NW Honeybee Habitat Restoration are all funded by public and private donations as well as grants received and labor is done 100% by volunteers who are driven and committed to see proactive positive change for all pollinators. We have no paid staff in our organization and our goal is to help as many different pollinator species as we can by providing healthy pesticide and chemical free forage for a healthier ecosystem which not only benefits pollinators but also other insects as well on up the food chain. Our projects offer beneficial hands on learning experiences for community residents of all ages and race, especially children who get to learn about different pollinator species, planting and healthy soil requirements, what it takes to raise plants and care for them, how plants directly benefit pollinators which in turn benefit higher crop yields in local community fruit trees, nut trees, berries and vegetable gardens as well as benefiting other insects in the food chain higher up into local bird species.
Since planting our first pollinator pathway project in the spring of 2015 we have had great success at transforming unproductive dry grass and unused land into beneficial healthy pesticide free pollinator habitat. We noticed sometimes within the first day of completing of our projects different types of pollinators showing up on the new habitat and have planted a number of different types of forage that bloom throughout all seasons to provide healthy biodiversity but we want to highlight on our ongoing pollinator pathways project and the progress over the last 5 year period. Homeowners have chosen lavender in which we are focusing on due to its long bloom time, drought tolerance, pest resistance, ease of maintenance and care as well as aesthetics which also improve the look of the local community. At any given time when in bloom we have counted on average around 50 pollinators per young 1 to 2 year old plant and an average of around 100 pollinators on mature plants ranging from 3 to 5 years old. Overall we have planted approximately close to 500 lavender plants throughout out main ongoing pollinator pathway program since 2015, equivalent to feeding 40,000 bees at any given time when in bloom.
Types of pollinators that we have recorded foraging on our habitat are Carniolan honeybees, Italian honeybees, Black tailed bumblebees, Hummingbirds, Yellow face bumble bees, Fuzzy horned bumblebees, Native bees, Carpenter bees, Fiery skipper butterflies, Cabbage white butterflies, Painted lady butterflies, Swallowtail butterflies, Ladybugs, Hoverflies, Potter wasps which have used the stalks of older mature plants to attach their pot(single nest) to, and a rare sighting of Monarch butterflies. We have also noticed more orb weaver spiders which the local hummingbirds benefit from by using the spider silk for their nests and also crab spiders of which both types of arachnids are beneficial to local birds such as Wren’s, Blackbirds, Sparrows, Chickadees and Bluebirds who feed on the insects. Having healthy soil means healthy plants which in turn mean more insects and pollinators, then up the food chain to small birds and mammals. Consequently spraying plants with chemicals and pesticides have the adverse effect which can harm the natural cycle all the way up the food chain as well as leaving residual chemicals in the soil causing further damage.
We hope the success of our projects will be able to grow and reach a larger audience to show that we can all help make a greater positive impact for our pollinators, environment as well as all of us!