In January 2020, Nature Research Journal published a scientific report from Sponsler et al. that highlights the importance of pollinator-friendly woody plant genera. In managed greenspaces, it is often assumed that pollinator communities are supported by a variety of ornamental horticulture. However, Sponsler and our pollinator team members know that many ornamental plants are simply decorative and experience little to no pollinator visitation. Therefore, it shouldn’t be assumed that a landscape supports pollination because it contains diverse and decorative plants. When foraging habitat is limited, the number and health of bee communities decline. To discover whether urban landscapes can provide sufficient forage, this research team collected pollen from foraging honey bees as they returned to their hives and then identified it using DNA analysis and pollen color, shape and anatomy. Commonly planted shrubs like Rosa, Hydrangea, Spiraea, Syringa, and Viburnum, while not present in large quantities in urban landscapes, can create pollinator-friendly greenspaces.
To read the paper they published on this analysis, follow the link below to find the paper on our Resources page.
Researchers: Douglas B. Sponsler, Christina M. Grozinger, Rodney T. Richardson, Andrea Nurse, Dalton Brough, Harland M. Patch & Kimberly A. Stoner