“What annual flowers attract pollinators?” continues to be the focus of our Flowers for Pollinators study, now entering its 3rd season! Three sites will feature plantings of 30 different annual flower varieties including winners from 2015 and 2016. Planting sites in 2017 include:
- the Horst M. Rechelbacher farm in Osceola, WI, where the U of M Bee Squad has been conducting pollinator research and the Plant Squad has been active;
- the Display Garden at the U of M West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris, MN;
- the 3rd floor courtyard of the Mayo Building outside the U of M Center for Spirituality and Healing (will the pollinators know to come to the 3rd flr of the CSH?) This site, located on the East Bank of the University at 420 Delaware Street S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55455, is also Living Laboratory hosted by the U’s Department of Operations Facilities Management.
Pollinator observations and counts will be made at each site, just as in previous years. This year, however, we are adding a bit of “citizen science”! Survey cards will be available at the Morris and CSH site for visitors to record their own pollinator observations on particular flowers. We are hoping this activity will help raise people’s awareness of pollinators and hopefully they’ll add some of these plants to their own gardens.