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Pioneer Garden Club of Ocala

                                                                                                    Aug 2018
       "I visited SSSP  (Silver Springs  State Park ) today. The gardens look good...except they need us to help weed. (Yes, too hot, I know.) Everything is very mature, growing like mad, and in full bloom. The butterflies and bees were all hard at work! It was great to see. I thought you would enjoy these pictures.
Nancy L"

Photos by: Donna Nichols

     Nothing is more important to protect than our pollinators. It has been said our lives rest on their wings. Without them we cannot live. Pollinators are responsible for 75 percent of the food, fiber, beverage, spices, medicines, grown worldwide. All require pollinators. They are in trouble and we need to do everything we can to help. In the past 10 years, over 50 percent of managed honey bee population has died. At least 185 species of pollinators are considereed threatened or extinct by the World Conservation Union.

Without pollinators it is estimated that humaninty could only last four years.

We think of honey bees first when thinking of pollinators. but there are many other pollinators as well as the honey bee. Moths, beetles, butterflies, ants, wasp, flies, hummingbirds, even bats are all pollinators. Florida has 315 varieties of native bees, of which 29 species of these are only found in Florida. 

All of our native bees other than the bumble bees are solitary bees, they do not live in colonies they raise their young alone alot of them live underground. They need some earth not covered with lawn or mulch. Some live in small brush piles so somtime maybe we don't need to clean everything way.

A shallow dish with small stones or marbles with water is a good addition to your garden. Butterflies and bees need to land to drink. It is estimated that 20 million acres of the US is covered in mowed lawns. Combine that with the over use of chemicals, even overfertilizing which ends up polluting our streams, rivers and our water supplies. We have to learn to protect what we have now in order to protect our future.




      More info?

     Contact Dr. Mallinger at Pollinator Ecology lab at UF. Her email address is . For any further requests, questions, or concerns:

     Entomology and Nematology Department
     University of Florida
     1881 Natural Area Drive, Steinmetz Hall
     Gainesville, FL 32611

Come join gardners who want to learn more about horticulture, pollinators, civic beauty, improve Silver Springs State Park, Historic Tuscawilla park, and disperse knowledge of plants to the Ocala community. Pioneer Garden Club of Ocala is the place to find the beauty in our surroundings and lifelong friends.