A painted lady butterfly pollinates a coneflower. Butterflies are an important pollinator in Missouri.
Mention the word pollinator, and the average person thinks of honeybees. Most people don’t know that our common honeybee is actually an import from Europe, arriving on our shores in the 1600s. Even less people know that the vast majority of Missouri’s animal pollinators are native to the state, and that they represent an incredibly important resource for both native and introduced plants, including most Missouri crops.
Pollinator food and cover
Like other wildlife, pollinators need cover and food. Much of what you would do for ground-nesting birds and small game would also benefit pollinators. In fact, you may already have pollinator habitat and not even realize it.
Patches of native grassland, wetlands, and forests that contain a diversity of flowering plants provide refuge to these species. In addition to nectar-rich flowering plants, good pollinator habitats provide locations for overwintering and larval development. These areas consist of bare soil, residual stems of last year’s plants, and new plant growth.