A tremendous resource to Georgia is the pollinators found in the state. The pollinators and the pollination they provide are valued at over $360 million. They have been declining over the past several years at unacceptable rates. The roles of the beekeepers and pesticide users and applicators have been discussed. Pollinator conservation is also important and vital to the protection of Georgia pollinators. Pollinator conservation
Pollinator conservation is a mixture of passive conservation and active habitat enhancement. All bees require flowering plants and many are solitary and nest in tunnels in the soil, solid wood, or hollow reeds. Farmers, foresters, and landowners are encouraged to consider bee conservation whole farm, or even neighboring farms or properties. This ideology is often pushed because connected corridors are an important part in the conservation of bees and other pollinator species.
Pollinator conservation could be divided into two categories: conserving bee forage and nesting sites and providing supplemental bee forage plants. Conserving bee forage and nesting sites includes leaving areas of your property permanently undisturbed, providing nesting materials, and leaving field edges and right of ways permanently idle in plants such as wildflowers, brambles, and hedges. Also small scale (i.e. home gardens), nesting sites could be increased by provided solid wood predrilled with ¼ to ½ inch holes at least three inches deep. Ensure that the hole does not penetrate both sides of the wood. Bees can find these holes and use them as nesting sites for their young.
Providing supplemental bee forage plants includes planting a mixture of annual and perennial flowers that provide bees with nectar and pollen in sunny, idles areas on your property. For good conservation, have season long unbroken successions of bloom are important. Planting a variety of plants that bloom from early spring into late summer will ensure the continual food supply for the bees and other pollinators.
For more information on pollinator conservation, please call the Jones County Extension Office at 478-986-3958. You can also refer to publications of the UGA website.