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Be a Friend to Pollinators

Learn how to live with pollinators.

The Species: Without Pollinators, Humans Would Go Hungry!

Pollinators enable our food production. One in every three bites of food we eat is courtesy of insect pollination.

As many as 2,000 pollinator species live in New Mexico, including 300 butterfly species and 1,400 bee species. Moths, beetles, flies, wasps, bats, and hummingbirds also contribute to pollination. The survival of most flowering species of plants and trees depends on pollinators.

See the Pollinators Fact Sheet!

Did You Know?

Over 70% of our favorite foods are pollinated by bees. This includes apples and almonds, chocolate and coffee, strawberries and sugarcane. [optional text: When a bee flies on a flower, some of the pollen sticks to the bee’s hair and gets deposited on the next flower it visits. This fertilizes the plant and allows it to produce fruits and seeds.]

Albuquerque, a Bee City USA

Fun Fact

Honey bees can recognize and remember human faces. They can tell the difference between you and your friends if they visit your garden regularly! They’re not alone: Wasps recognize each other as individuals by memorizing facial markings.

Our city is certified as a Bee City, the first city in the Southwest. Bee Cities are pollinator-friendly cities that create welcoming habitats for the pollinators that feed our planet.

Most pollinators become active in the spring with warmer weather and the flowering of plants. They must be able to find nutritious forage during their active season to survive.

Some pollinators serve as biological “pest” control: A ladybug can eat 5,000 aphids in her lifetime, and wasps keep caterpillars and flies in check.

The Challenges: Our Pollinators are at Risk

Nearly 40% of pollinator species on earth are at risk of extinction because of habitat loss, pesticide use, diseases, and climate change.

  • Habitat loss: Our paved urban environment is not pollinator-friendly. Roadsides, driveways and yards are covered with gravel or lawn and lack the flowering plants pollinators need to survive.
  • Pesticide use: Backyard sprayers are a big problem for pollinators. Pesticides and insecticides make pollen and nectar toxic to pollinators. Common garden sprays contain neonicotinoids which cause honey bee kills.

Worried About Getting Stung?

Bees and most wasps are not aggressive, and many solitary bees are stingless.

Yellowjacket wasps may become a nuisance in late summer, but you can prevent this:

  • Seal garbage cans securely.
  • Empty trash frequently.
  • Don’t leave food and drink outside.
  • Collapse old rodent burrows in your yard (in the winter) to prevent yellowjackets from nesting in them next season.

Action Tips Be a Friend to Pollinators! ❤ What You Can Do

The words Tip #1

Grow Pollinator-Friendly Flowers

Especially native plants, and turn your lawn into a wildflower meadow.

The words Tip #2

Preserve Your Local Habitats

Many common plants on your street or in your yard - from dandelions in the spring to chamisa in the fall - are flowering food for pollinators.

The words Tip #3

Go Chemical Free

Avoid pesticides and instead use soap sprays, essential oils or vinegar (apply early mornings or late evenings) and pull weeds manually. Add flowers and herbs that are natural bug repellents (such as mint) or attract natural predators.

The words Tip #4

Provide Winter Nesting Sites

Limit your fall clean-up and leave the leaves and save the stems as habitat for pollinators until late spring.

The words Tip 5

Use Only Refined White Sugar in Hummingbird Feeders

Mix 1 part sugar for 4 parts water until the sugar is dissolved. Never use honey, corn syrup, molasses, powdered sugar, brown or raw or unprocessed sugars. Honey and molasses can ferment more quickly, creating a mold that is fatal to hummingbirds. Never use any dyes, as they are toxic to hummingbirds.

Just Ask: Need Help?

  • You can ask the city not to spray pesticides near your property: call 311 and request to be added to the “No Spray List.” 
  • Coordinate with your neighbors about pollinator-friendly practices: ask the NM Beekeepers Association for advice.
  • Report a honey bee swarm, don’t disturb it: in the spring, you may see a bee swarm seeking to establish a new colony; ask a local beekeeper at to relocate the swarm.

Did You Know?

Of the 20,000 bee species on earth, only 8 are honey bees, and only 2 honey bee species have been domesticated by beekeepers and can be managed in hives. Many wild bees live underground in nests that can be hard to spot from the surface. Most live alone and they don’t have stings.

Be a Friend To Wildlife ❤ ABQ Wildlife Coexistence

Albuquerque is home to over 850 animal species, many of whom roamed these lands long before our city's founding. They are important city residents who help maintain healthy local ecosystems. Always Enjoy Wildlife from a distance.

Be a Friend to Wildlife: Dos & Dont's

Don't feed wildlife (except songbirds)
Don't feed pets outside
Don't leave pet waste
Don't use chemicals or poisons

Do keep your distance
Do seal garbage &compost
Do plant native flowers
Do supervise your pets
Do stay on trails