Most everyone recognizes that bees are pollinators. Not everyone realizes that butterflies, birds, wasps, flies, beetles and even bats are also pollinators too. Really, any critter that transfers pollen is a pollinator.
Back in the days when I had a lawn and fewer native plants, I was a pollinator out of necessity. I did not have many bees that came to my garden and my squash flowers were not getting pollinated. Since I wanted squash, I had to go out every morning and transfer the pollen from the male flowers to the female flowers. I felt silly in that bee costume.
I finally wised up and planted more native flowering plants and now I don't have to do the pollination myself any longer. I have many different types of bees eager to do the job for me.
The bees usually move around too quickly for me to photograph. I got lucky with this native bee collecting pollen on the flowers of Clammyweed, Polanisia dodecandra, a couple of days ago. It was interesting watching it hover above the flowers and collect pollen from the stamens that extend above the flowers.
The Pollinator Partnership website is full of interesting and useful information about pollinators that I am still exploring. They even have pollinator plant guides that you can download for your specific ecoregion in the U.S. I was happy to see that my garden includes many of the plants recommended for my region, which happens to be called Prairie Parkland (subtropical) Province.
In 2010, I had a post called Bees on the Prairie. I posted several photos of bees and wasps in my garden and a list of some of the favorite bee plants in my garden. A companion post, Butterflies on the Prairie, has several butterfly photos. And if you do not want butterflies to invade your garden, my post, Prairie Invasion, includes a list of plants to avoid. If you want butterflies in your garden, then it would be a good list of plants that you would want to include in your garden.
In closing, I came across this video this week. It is a musical remix of the wisdom of Mr. Rogers from PBS. I know I watched the show as a kid and I suspect he contributed, in some part, to my curious nature. I pretty sure he is the reason I had fish aquariums for many years. Now, the ideas that grow in the garden of my mind also grow in my prairie gardens.