Celebrating Colorado Pollinator Month

Applewood Seed Company’s trial gardens showcase a diverse array of pollinators

A Hunt's bumblebee collects pollen from a Perennial Lupine. Colorado Pollinator

A Hunt’s bumblebee collects pollen from a Perennial Lupine.

As spring turns into summer in the Colorado Rockies, the native pollinators are hard at work collecting pollen and nectar from wildflowers. We at Applewood Seed Company are continuously improving our wildflower varieties to benefit our local Colorado pollinators and other pollinator species across the U.S.

A small carpenter bee sits on Eastern Beebalm. Colorado Pollinator

A small carpenter bee sits on Eastern Beebalm.

Our various pollinator seed mixtures provide diverse nutrients for bees, butterflies, birds, moths, and other beneficial insects throughout the year. Highlighting these keystone species is at the heart of Applewood Seed’s vision, and no better place to study the various Colorado pollinators than our own trial gardens located in Arvada, CO.

Native bees, wasps, and other pollinators can be seen buzzing through the penstemons, cinquefoils and asters in our trial gardens.

An Andrena sp. of mining bee on a bigflower cinquefoil. Colorado pollinator

An Andrena sp. of mining bee on a bigflower cinquefoil.

Pictured top left is Bombus huntii, or Hunt’s Bumble Bee happily buzzing away around perennial lupine. You can see that she has collected the orange pollen into her corbiculae or “pollen baskets” on her hind legs. To the right, a tiny carpenter bee (Ceratina spp.) sips nectar from Monarda bradburiana, or Eastern Beebalm.

Down on the bottom left a mining bee investigates a bigflower cinquefoil Potentilla fissa; these native Andrenids often get mistaken for honey bees. Their smaller size, dark wings, and facial fovae (think of them as fluffy eyebrows on the inner margins of their eyes) are just some characteristics that help distinguish them from Apis mellifera, the European Honey Bee.

Identifying bees and other pollinators can be tricky; you can see our Colorado Bee guide below to follow along as bees visit your gardens, nurseries, and reclamation areas. To celebrate Colorado Pollinator Month, consider planting our native or pollinator-oriented mixes such as those recommended below.

WILDFLOWER MIXES FOR COLORADO POLLINATORS

Flower Seed Collections: Cosmos

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Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) is an annual flower that is native to Mexico and has been grown in American gardens for over 150 years. Plants prefer sunny conditions and can tolerate heat and poorer soils. They have low water requirements, making them ideal for xeriscaping. They also attract butterflies, birds and pollinators such as honey bees […]

Help The Monarch Butterfly

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Most people have heard that the monarch butterfly is in trouble.  Numerous reports have indicated that their numbers have declined by over 95% in the U.S.  The loss of habitat has been the main issue.  All habitat sites used for breeding, migrating and overwintering have been impacted.  The loss of milkweed in these habitats, a […]

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