In the course of any given season, we plant and water, we fertilize and weed but for most of our crops someone else has taken the responsibility of performing the key job that result in a good harvest. The pollinators are our partners in the backyard or in the fields. They are the bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, moths, flies, beetles, and bats.
This week (June 21-27, 2010) has been designated as the National Pollinator Week by the USDA. This post is not that late - you still can check out their website and see what you can do.
One small step at a time counts. As gardeners, we can make deliberate attempts to make our backyards a favorable habitat for pollinators. It does not take much from us to help improve this "world of pollinators". In my garden for example, I allow my herbs and vegetables (cilantro, parsley, sage, mint, rosemary) to flower. These are insectary plants - they harbor insects including pollinators. Now as the season progresses, the annual and biennial herbs dry out - but the bok choy (in the picture) and radishes which were purposefully left to flower are hosting the insects. These are just plants from my kitchen garden. There are so many ornamental plants that can provide pollen and nectar for them. Different plants attract different pollinators. Diversify your crops to provide a continuous food source throughout their active season. If you want to take action for pollinators there is a specific recommendation for your area.
In food production, the pollinators are our allies.