Protecting Pollinators

Know your native pollinators

“Know your native pollinators” is a series of articles that will help you identify and appreciate Florida’s varied pollinators, including bees, wasps, butterflies, moths, beetles, flies, birds and bats.

Bee fly (Bombyliidae) by Bob Peterson
Bee fly
The Bombyliidae family is large and diverse. Members nectar at flowers in the composite family. Bee flies are true flies that imitate bees to scare predators away.
Dainty sulphur (Nathalis iole) on Frogfruit_Keim
Dainty sulphur
Also known by the common name Dwarf yellow, the Dainty sulphur butterfly is the smallest sulphur in North America. It nectars at asters, especially those low to the ground.
Little Metalmark (Calephelis virginiensis) butterfly. Photo by Mary Keim.
Little metalmark
The Little metalmark is one of the tiniest butterflies, having a wingspan of only 1.2 – 2.5 cm. The silver markings on its wings give members of the Riodinidae family the common name “metalmark.”
Pandorus sphinx (Eumorpha pandorus)
Pandorus sphinx
Pandorus sphinx moths display a camouflaged pattern of green and brown blocks to blend in with the world around them. They are part of the sphinx family (Sphingidae), a group known for large moth species.

Create a pollinator pot

The insects that pollinate our food crops and natural areas are in steep decline. Our suburban landscapes are more important than ever in supporting them. Even small changes in your landscape and neighborhood can help build native, natural corridors that provide food, nesting and other resources for insect pollinators.

No place for a garden? No problem! You can create a small oasis for pollinator insects planting pots with Florida’s native wildflowers.

wildflowers planted in pots
Photos by Jen Tyson

More buzz about pollinators

bee boxes
Making a home for native bees
It is more important than ever to make a home for native bees in Florida’s landscapes. Bee expert Dr. Rachel Mallinger of the University of Florida gives tips on the best ways to welcome them to urban landscapes.
Bumblebee on Partridge pea
Celebrate native bees and other pollinators
Do you enjoy juicy watermelons, local blueberries and strawberries and fresh Florida orange juice? How about carrots, broccoli, almonds and apples? If you do, please thank an insect.
Xerces milkweeds conservation guide cover
Review of Xerces Society’s Milkweed Guide
The monarch’s population decline has caused great concern in the last few years. The Xerces Society’s insight into factors that influence monarch butterfly populations has pointed to many things.
Cloudless sulphur butterfly on Heart-leaf brickell-bush flower
WEBINAR — Creating Pollinator Pathways
Learn about creating pollinator pathways in the built environment in this webinar featuring Dr. Jaret Daniels, who explains how every landscape, large and small, is now critical to supporting the biodiversity that keeps our ecosystems functioning.

Resources for attracting pollinators

Attracting Bees
You can help provide food and habitat for Florida’s native bees and other beneficial insects by landscaping with native wildflowers. Versión en español disponible.
Read more Attracting Bees
Attracting Birds
Bring birds into your landscape by planting Florida native wildflowers, grasses and shrubs that provide food and habitat. Learn more now. Versión en español disponible.
Read more Attracting Birds
Plant selection guide
This guide includes over 120 Florida native wildflowers, shrubs, vines and grasses that work well in home landscapes. It will help you choose plants based on your location, soil and light conditions, color and season of bloom, and pollinator use. Versión en español disponible.
Read more Plant selection guide