June is Pollinator Month

Posted by Jessie Jacobson on Jun 6th 2024

June is Pollinator Month

Happy Pollinator Month!

The time is now to plants plants for pollinators. Tonkadale is overflowing with summer color to attract your favorite pollinator friends to the garden all season long.

How it started.

The National Wildlife Federation started National Pollinator Month in June 2007 to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators and to encourage people to add pollinator-friendly plants to their landscapes. The event was originally called National Pollinator Week and was designated by the United States Senate to take place during the third week of June. It has since grown into an international celebration that brings communities together to promote the valuable ecosystem services provided by pollinators like bees, birds, butterflies, bats, beetles, moths, wasps, and flies.

What is pollination?

Pollination is a vital ecological process that involves the transfer of pollen between flowers. A garden that is beneficial to pollinators in all life stages of life helps to sustain populations and provides numerous benefits to both humans and the natural environment around us.


Hummingbirds are responsible for supporting 8,000 species of native plants across North and South American. Hummingbirds must eat their weight in nectar (the sugary substance secreted by plants to attract pollinators) each day. In exchange for energy rich nectar, hummingbirds spread pollen to each plant they visit. Hummingbirds are attracted to tubular flowers because their long tongues and bills allow them to easily access the nectar inside. Hummingbirds love bright colors, especially red! Check out this list of plants hummingbirds prefer!


When we think of pollinators, bees likely come to mind first! Honeybees specifically pollinate 80% of the world's flowering plants. A single honeybee can pollinate up to 5,000 flowers per day. 75% of our food crops are pollinated by bees. Minnesota is home to over 500 species of native bees including 23 species of native bumblebees. Bees feed on both pollen for protein, and nectar for carbohydrates. Bees visit a wide variety of flower shapes depending on the species and are attracted to bright white, yellow, and blue. Check out this list of plants that bees prefer!


When butterflies land on flowers to drink nectar, pollen sticks to their bodies, legs, and proboscis or tonge. Butterflies generally only feed on nectar and do not typically seek pollen. Butterflies require host plants to support the larval stage of growth, think caterpillars. Larval host plants can be specific to each species. We all know and love the Monarch butterfly whose larva exclusively feeds on milkweed. An abundance of butterflies is an indicaiton of a healthy ecosystem. Like it or not, our beautiful butterflies and their larva are an important part of the food chain. Butterflies must land to feed so they prefer flattened flowers or tubular flowers in large clusters. Check out this list of perennial plants that butterflies prefer!


When planting a pollinator garden, plan to have at least three flowers blooming at a time throughout the season and even into fall. Eliminate the use of pesticides. Plant native plants when possible. Choose plants with varied flower shapes and plant in multiples. Its easier for pollinators to locate a large grouping of plants. Most importantly, plant plants!