The Monarchs are coming, the Monarchs are coming, and we gotta prepare!!!
Every day I go out to the ditch in front of my house to see who’s all ‘up in my weeds’- including milk weed - that I stopped mowing, despite my neighbour Vince who thinks it’s ‘unsightly’ and has got “all the neighbours talking”... ha!
So, in honour of all our pollinator friends - the unsung heroes who shine at this time of year - I put together a list of:
5 WILD things you never knew about pollinators.
1- THERE ARE ‘BEES’ IN THE SEA
Apparently the ocean has its own ‘bees of the sea’, which was only recently discovered when Scientists found tiny worms and shrimp-like crustaceans on under-water flowers the Scientists were collecting. This led to the realization that - much like terrestrial plants - Ocean plants need help with pollination too! In fact, they were the first to benefit from this symbiotic relationship.
2- HOW DO VENUS FLY TRAPS POLLINATE?
So who is brave enough to pollinate a Venus fly trap? Since they tend to eat the more typical pollinators, they have struck up an unlikely friendship with… beetles! And the fly traps show them some mercy to these unlikely pollinators, by not eating them. How’s that for symbiosis?
3- BEES BITE PLANTS TO MAKE THEM POLLINATE EARLY
“Bumblebees aren’t merely bumbling around our gardens. They’re actively assessing the plants, determining which flowers have the most nectar and pollen, and leaving behind scent marks that tell them which blooms they’ve already visited. Now, a new study reveals that bumblebees force plants to flower by making tiny incisions in their leaves—a discovery that has stunned bee scientists” (National Geographic).
4- BEES SIGHTINGS ARE DOWN 25%!
While more ‘citizen scientists’ are looking for and logging Bee species, in the last two decades, 25% fewer species have been seen, and it’s really about the wild non-honey varieties that often get overlooked. Among the biggest culprits in the decline are pesticides (neonaticides to be exact) and climate change. The good news is that more countries - including Canada - are banning the nasties and we’re hoping to see a rebound in the coming years.
5- SCIENTISTS ARE EXPERIMENTING WITH DRONE POLLINATORS
To offset our declining populations of pollinators, Scientists are now experimenting with Drones to help with farm production, which I find both cool and sad, don’t you?
Now, all of this is to prepare you for among the greatest trips our planet. That’s right - THE MONARCH BUTTERFLY MIGRATION - a 4,000 plus kilometer journey, which is essential for us to help in anyway we can, because Monarchs are now considered an ENDANGERED SPECIES.
I got a whole lot of intel that I’ll keep sending your way, but the big takeaway is - please protect the milkweed in your area because from my research, they are the ONLY plants Monarchs will lay their eggs on, particularly the flowering kind.
And did you know we named our ‘Chrysalis Beauty pods’ (high quality skincare, in low impact and low emission formats) after the Monarch Butterfly’s magical cocoon? We’ve been thinking about embedding our pods with Milk Weed seeds to help with the Monarch’s recovery, but because we ship them all over North America, we realized that could be introducing non-native species where they probably don’t belong.
So if you have any suggestions on how else we can help them out, let us know, as we’re planning something for September, the perfect time of year to start planting milkweed for next year!
And as always, click here if you’d like to visit the shop and help us continue our mission!