Skip to main content

Pollinators

All Pollinators Content

aerial view of South Dakota farm and surrounding land

Crops

During the growing season, iGrow provides weekly production recommendations.

wasps building a nest on the shutter of a house

Where Did These Wasps Come From?

Wasps receive attention no matter the time of year, but they are especially noticeable in late summer and early fall. Wasps such as yellow jackets and paper wasps have annual nests, so the majority of the individuals that are active now will not survive the winter. Only the newly produced queens will find a sheltered location to overwinter and begin a new colony in the spring.

An orange and black monarch butterfly resting on a purple flower.

Understanding the Critical Role of Broadleaf Pollinator Plants in Pastures

Generally speaking, ‘pollinators’ refers to the suite of plants that produce nectar and pollen (generally flowering broadleaf plants) and the insects and other animals (birds, bats, etc.) that spread the pollen for plant reproduction. In the last several years, the honey bee has been at the center of the pollinator discussion, as their populations have crashed – placing bee keepers and their fruit and nut producing clientele at risk.

Several small green insects on a plant leaf.

Cool, Wet Weather Affects Insect Populations

Spring and early summer can been cool and wet in South Dakota. The extra moisture combined with cooler temperatures can sometimes encourage rapid growth of some insects.

Three bees on a wooden box.

Backyard Biodiversity: Nest boxes for native bees

Many of our native bee species are solitary. In order to ensure that these kinds of bees spend more time in our yards and gardens, it is important to make sure we include places for them to nest.

Tomatoes growing in a high tunnel. Courtesy: USDA

Pollinating Tomatoes in High Tunnels

In field-grown tomatoes the air movement is sufficient to vibrate flowers and achieve pollination. This is not generally true in the high tunnel because there is not sufficient natural wind to vibrate the flowers. High tunnel tomato growers should therefore pollinate their crop by other means.