Save a Bumble by Planting These Plants

How many of these plants do you have in your garden? I have 18 of the 36 plants. Actually, I thought I’d do better on this test. Nonetheless, let’s challenge ourselves to plant as many of these pollinator plants as possible. Why? Because the critically endangered Rusty Patched Bumble Bee needs our help. It is starving.

Here’s some background info from the US Fish & Wildlife Service:

“Just 20 years ago, the rusty patched bumble bee was a common sight, so ordinary that it went almost unnoticed as it moved from flower to flower, collecting nectar and pollen. But it’s now balancing precariously on the brink of extinction and has become the first-ever bumble bee in the United States to be listed as endangered. It was once found across 28 states from Connecticut to South Dakota and north into two provinces in Canada. Today, we find it only in a few locations in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin – and Ontario, Canada. Abundance and distribution of rusty patched bumble bee populations have declined by an estimated 91 percent since the mid to late 1990s.

Threats to the rusty patched bumble bee include disease (for example, from infected commercial honeybee colonies), exposure to pesticides, habitat loss, the effects of climate change, the effects of extremely small populations, and a combination of these factors.

Bumble bees such as the rusty patched are important pollinators of plants and wildflowers that provide food and habitat for other wildlife. They are also the chief pollinator of many economically important crops. Bumble bees are able to fly in cooler temperatures and lower light levels than many other bees, such as honey bees, making them excellent pollinators for crops like tomatoes, peppers and cranberries. Even where crops can be self-pollinated, the plant produces more and bigger fruits when pollinated by bumble bees.”# Source: US Fish & Wildlife Service

There’s a bonus: This plant list works for Monarch Butterflies as well because it includes Milkweeds.

Posted on by weedpatchgazette in Birds, Bugs & Butterflies, Conservation and Ecology, My Gardens, Plants, Uncategorized

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