Keep Pollinators in Mind During Summer Gardening

Now that we can finally get into our gardens after a cold, rainy spring, Secretary Ben Brancel says we should keep our pollinators in mind. Brancel leads the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

“Don’t think that you can’t make a difference. Even someone in the middle of Milwaukee with a postage stamp-sized lot can help pollinators. And when you do that, you help everyone, because we all eat and we need pollinators to produce many of our favorite foods,” said Brancel.

Without pollinators, Wisconsin cranberry growers would lose three-quarters of their crop, apple growers would lose 80 percent, and cherry growers would lose 60 percent.

Many people think of honeybees when they think of pollinators, and they are important. But Wisconsin also is home to about 400 species of native bees, including about 20 species of bumblebees. Many of the native bees are small and most people would not recognize them as bees. Monarch butterflies and some native fly species also help pollinate crops.

Vegetable gardens, fruit trees and shrubs, flower gardens and even your lawn can all provide habitat for both honeybees and native pollinating insects.

Wisconsin’s Pollinator Protection Plan ( offers tips for helping you with pollinators in your yard.

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