Pollinators are important since they are responsible for well over 30 percent of the food that we eat, mainly fruits and vegetables. Gardeners are giving these critters a hand by planting food for them to eat, both as adults and juveniles.
The website for the Pollinator Partnership (www.pollinator.org) has some great guides on what to plant for each region of the country. Now they even have a smartphone app called "BeeSmart" that you can download from Google Play or Apple.
Pollinators also need some creature comforts, such as a water source and shelter. Bee boxes are becoming popular garden items for solitary bees, and beekeeping as a hobby is also on the increase. One thing all gardeners can do is reduce dependence on chemical pesticides that can harm bees and use pesticides in the evening, when bees are not active.
Reducing inputs all around
There are many more practices you can adopt to become a more sustainable gardener (but they only allow me so much space here). Here's a quick list:
John Porter is the WVU Extension Service agent for agriculture and natural resources in Kanawha County. He may be reached at john.por...@mail.wvu.edu or at 304-720-9573. Twitter: @WVgardenguru.