Bernadette Mach, Daniel McNamara & Daniel A. Potter
Department of Entomology, University of Kentucky


Bumble bee on a cone flowerPollinator-friendly landscapes are becoming more popular as more people become aware of the dangers pollinators face in their everyday settings. The research presented in this article comes from a three-year survey documenting bee visitations and assemblages in trees and shrubs in the Ohio River Valley region. It focuses on woody ornamental plants because of the long-term benefits these plants can provide to the landscape. One of the key questions answered by this research was if native and non-native plants were equally bee-attractive. The study found that things like flower form, pest susceptibility, and resource production were all factors in what makes a plant pollinator-friendly.


We are wrapping up an intensive three-year survey to document bee assemblages and bee visitation rates to flowering trees and shrubs suitable for landscapes in the Ohio River Valley region. We focused on woody ornamentals because of the long-term benefits these plants can provide to bees in the urban landscape. Both native and non-native plant species were included so we could compare their usage by pollinators. We sought to identify sustainable plant species that are both beefriendly and relatively pest-free as well as plants where bees may be at risk from insecticide exposures, i.e., plants that are both highly bee-attractive and pest-prone.

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