On Sunday my family helped me conduct a pollinator count at the Cherry Creek Habitat. We each selected a Lemon Queen sunflower plant to watch for 5 minutes. Our results were: 26 pollinators visited 7 flowers on 3 sunflower plants. Our data will be entered at The Great Sunflower Project website.
Why are pollinator counts important? We know pollinator populations are declining. Little is know about urban pollinators and what their populations are. We do not know much about how healthy bee populations are maintained in an urban environment. Because natural habitats are uncommon in urban landscapes, they may not provide enough resources to support viable pollinator communities. However, if other habitats, such as urban gardens and restored areas, are sufficiently connected to natural habitats, then native populations may thrive.
By finding a way to track and place value on natural ecosystems, we will find a future in which conservation is a guiding principle of daily decision making throughout the world. Our pollinator count at the Cherry Creek Habitat is a step in the right direction.