AP interviews Drummond for article on garden vegetables, pollinators
The Associated Press interviewed Frank Drummond, a professor of insect ecology and insect pest management at the University of Maine, for the article “Some favorite garden vegetables attract pollinators, too.” Planting flowers is a popular way to attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies. But flowering vegetables and fruit, ornamental shrubs, trees and vines also can attract them, according to the article. “Some bee species are active only in the spring or maybe just the summer, while others are active all season long, such as bumblebees and honeybees. This relates to when you need to have plants flowering in your garden,” Drummond said. Some bee species evolved to specialize in pollinating certain plants very efficiently, while others are generalists that are less efficient but can pollinate all flower species. Diversity is important in deciding which plants to include to attract pollinators, according to the article. For example, almonds attract honeybees, bumblebees and mason bees, while tomatoes attract bumblebees, sweat bees and carpenter bees. Other pollinators include hummingbirds, tropical bats, moths, flies, ants, hornets and beetles, many of which are advertent pollinators. “These are animals that visit flowers sometimes to feed on their resources such as oils, nectar, pollen or petals and in doing so sometimes pollinate the flower,” Drummond said. The Washington Post, Arizona Daily Star, Madison.com, Altoona Mirror, The Daily Courier, Gillette News Record, Times Herald-Record, The Lewiston Tribune and The Daily News carried the AP article.