The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Overwintering sites for native pollinators

Bumblebee mothThe final habitat requirement of native pollinators is a spot to spend the winter.  Most native bees winter in their summer nest tunnels or burrows, but bumblebees need a sheltered spot with plenty of leaf litter in which to hibernate.  Some non-bee pollinators spend the winter in tall grass, bushes, trees, piles of leaves or sticks, or on man-made objects.

In general, the best way to protect pollinators in the winter is to leave them alone.  If you need to manage your pollinator meadows by mowing or burning, try to do so in the late summer or fall while the insects are still active and can get away.  Even if you don't have a designated pollinator area, it's worth leaving some overgrown, weedy spots along the edges of your garden to give these important insects a winter home.

Want to know more about native pollinators?  Here are some extra sources:

Prepare an emergency lighting system so you're not stuck in the dark if the power goes out.  Learn how in my 99 cent ebook.

This post is part of our Attracting Native Pollinators lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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