I have a beautiful garden on my patio by the lake, but I’m seriously bothered by the number of bees and other flying critters that keep hanging out here! These flying foes are really putting a cramp in my style. Like, seriously, they just need to GO AWAY!
Signed, Bugged Beatrice
Dear Bugged Beatrice,
You might not realize this, but your garden is beautiful and your lake is cleaner because of those bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Pollinators can be insects or animals that help in the reproductive life cycle of your garden plants. They’re not FOES — they’re FRIENDS! Like, seriously!
Let’s say you’ve planted some native species in your garden such as Purple Coneflower (echinacea). Monarch butterflies love Purple Coneflower and the nectar nourishes their tiny beautiful bodies. While they noshing on your flowers, little bits of pollen are sticking to their legs and as they travel around your exquisite garden smorgasbord, they’re moving that pollen around and pollinating your flowers. Your plants don’t have legs — but those flying critters sure do! They’re doing an important job. When the plants are thriving, they’re soaking up water on the ground and keeping your lawn drier. Also, because they’re happily soaking up that water so fast, they’re keeping runoff out of the lakes which keeps our lakes cleaner.
So Beatrice, please, embrace your garden friends! They’re part of what makes our environment vibrant and healthy.