You can make a difference for farmers in your community from your own backyard.

Bees and other pollinators are essential to a healthy environment. Nearly 85% of flowering plants, including many crops, need pollinators to reproduce. Around one-third of our food supply relies on the help of bees.

Farmers need pollinators for their crops to grow and thrive.

Simple changes can make a huge difference to pollinators. Even small spaces have great potential to support the needs of this group.

Early pollinators need extra support at the beginning of spring when their food supply is limited. Native wildflowers and shrubs provide higher-quality food for pollinators.

According to the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, there are four simple steps you can take to bring back pollinators.

1. Grow pollinator-friendly flowers – Need ideas for some native flowers and plants to grow in your lawn or garden? Try some wild geranium, purple prairie clover or wild bergamot.

2. Provide nest sites – Doing some spring cleaning in your yard? Butterflies and other pollinators use dead leaves and brush to lay their eggs. Leave your brush pile to give the pollinators some time to grow!

3. Minimize pesticide use – Insecticides can directly harm the insects you are trying to bring back to your garden.

4. Spread the word – Post photos and tell your neighbors about your efforts to bring back the bees.

Even small spaces have the potential to meet the most basic needs of the entire insect life cycle. Pollinators are one of the easiest groups of animals to support in a residential landscape. Simple changes can have a huge impact on the pollinator population!

Native plants are best for supporting the widest array of native pollinators. Bees, butterflies and moths rely on native species to support their diet. What percentage of your flowering vegetation is native?

‘Bee’ creative! How can you add more native vegetation to your yard?