How to design your Tucson pollinator garden | Home & Garden

Keep the water clean–both for your health and the health of the animals. Mosquitoes need only 3 days to hatch from stale water, and your water vessels can grow algae and harbor bacteria that are harmful to your new guests. Ideally, hose out and refresh the water dishes every day or at most, every other day.

Shelter and breeding resources: These are plants that provide food for different stages of a pollinator’s life and also provide cover against predators and breeding habitat. For example, in order to breed, butterflies need host plants that provide food for their caterpillars.

Insects like a little mess: leave out leaves, mulch, and some dead branches to ensure that they have plenty of shelter. According to Campbell, leaf litter provides shelter for hibernating bumble bee queens, as well as moth and butterfly larvae. Many of our native solitary bees also require special places to breed–either in hollow tubes, dead wood, or for the majority) in the ground. Make sure you leave some bare ground for the ground-nesting ones.

You can make your own bee condos for carpenter bees but keep in mind that you will need to clean them to prevent diseases. Campbell says bee houses are a commitment. “If you want to really do something good for your native bees…keep [bee houses] clean and maintain them. Smaller is better to reduce the risk of disease.” You can also provide dead native wood (like mesquite branches) and woody plant stems for shelter. Native bees forage in a small territory of about 200-300 feet, so keep their habitat, food, and water resources within this area.

Source Article