By Cassie McClure and Suzanne Michaels
Published in the Las Cruces Bulletin 3/13/20
Pollinators like bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies keep the ecosystem of your garden healthy. Learn more about how to attract these little helpers with Claudette Harvell, from Wild Birds Unlimited (2001 E. Lohman Ave.), at the free Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) Lush and Lean Workshop on Thursday, March 19th.
“Not just bright, beautiful plants need pollinators, all flowering plants make use of pollinators to spread their pollen,” explained Harvell, who focuses on sustainability and eco-friendly solutions at their store.
She also likes to clear up common misconceptions. For example, native bees rarely sting, and you don’t need red dye in your sugar water mixture to attract hummingbirds. “A simple red feeder is best,” says Harvell, “don’t make it too ornate in coloring because that will also attract bees. And - change the water every two days.”
Harvell will explain that your messier-than-you-might-like yard has a fan club of little critters. She’ll describe how to make habitats from what is already there, that stray leaves are excellent places for caterpillars to hide as they transform into butterflies. She’ll get you to think on their level: “Bees have to access water in a different way - they can’t swim and don’t like to get their feet wet,” she explains. “And butterflies appreciate ‘drinking’ from damp earth, where they can also take in minerals from the soil.”
Get practical advice from the free and open to the public LCU Lush and Lean Workshops held Thursday evenings at the Thomas Branigan Memorial Library, 200 E. Picacho Ave., in the Roadrunner Room from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. See the complete list of speakers and Lush and Lean dates at http://www.las-cruces.org/1288/Lush-Lean-Workshops.
You can reach Las Cruces Utilities at 528-3500 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Las Cruces Utilities provides GAS – WATER – WASTEWATER – SOLID WASTE services to approximately 100,000 Las Cruces residents and businesses.
PHOTO 1: No need to fear friendly garden helpers, like this Mason bee. Learn more about how to attract bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies to your garden at the free LCU Lush and Lean Workshop on Thursday, March 19th, at the Thomas Branigan Memorial Library. (Courtesy photo Wild Birds Unlimited)