In case you missed it, here’s a link to the NPR interview with Steve Buchmann, the international coordinator of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign. You might remember Buchmann as one of the authors of the excellent book Forgotten Pollinators.
From the NPR blog:
“Mother Nature has lots of other pollinators — typically five to ten types — that visit a single plant.
Still, bumblebees and bats could use tending, too, he says. To improve their lives, try to plant local wildflowers and heirloom fruits and veggies. Native plants suited to the local climate and soil are likelier to flourish and feed bees. Steer clear of the ornately ruffled sophisticates that have spent generations in a hothouse.
Breeding a plant for our taste often inadvertently breeds out the goodies–the sweet nectar–that pollinators seek.”
I believe you may remember an earlier rant here about “pollenless” varieties of plants I was finding in my seed catalogs :)
The Pollinator Partnership has an interactive zipcode map to suggest plants that will please your local native pollinators. You’ll get a full collor multi-page PDF document to download explaining what kinds of plants different pollinators like, and some plant suggestions. The Xerces Society also has some nice lists of plants for pollinators you can download, too!