A beautiful native blooming now in one of our garden beds is Green-headed Coneflower, Rudbeckia laciniata. Bumblebees consider it a very welcome addition. Scientists are concerned about the future of bumblebees due to pressure from habitat loss, fewer wildflowers for pollination, pesticides, and possibly, global warming. You can check out Holland Wildflower Farm’s store for our Bee Feed Mix, our Pollinator Mix, or any number of other specialty wildflower mixes to help our bumblebees and butterflies.
Here are a couple of good websites to become more knowledgeable about bumblebees and other pollinators:
http://bumblebeewatch.org is an organization that allows nonprofessional “citizen scientists” to upload photos of the bumblebees on their flowers to help experts document the changing ranges of the various species native to North America. Over time, this allows for identifying population shifts due to the various pressures that bees face.
http://www.xerces.org is dedicated to conservation of all invertebrate pollinators.
The Xerces Society is named for an extinct species of butterfly. It works in multiple ways with multiple partners to educate, conduct research, manage lands, and advocate for the conservation of native pollinators so as to decrease the likelihood of further extinctions.