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WILD BIRDS UNLIMITED

All you need to know about pollinators

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Pollinators -- like bees, hummingbirds and butterflies -- keep the ecosystem of your garden healthy. Learn more about how to attract them with Claudette Harvell, from Wild Birds Unlimited, at the free Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) Lush and Lean Workshop on Thursday, March 19.

“Not just bright, beautiful plants need pollinators. All flowering plants make use of pollinators to spread their pollen,” said Harvell, who focuses on sustainability and eco-friendly solutions at the store.

She also likes to clear up common misconceptions. For example, native bees rarely sting, and you don’t need red dye in your sugar water mixture to attract hummingbirds. “A simple red feeder is best,” says Harvell, “don’t make it too ornate in coloring because that will also attract bees. And change the water every two days.”

Harvell said your messier-than-you-might-like yard has a fan club of little critters who make habitats from what is already there. For instance, stray leaves are excellent places for caterpillars to hide as they transform into butterflies.

Bees, she said, can’t swim and don’t like to get their feet wet. And butterflies appreciate ‘drinking’ from damp earth, where they can also take in minerals from the soil.”

Get practical advice from the free LCU Lush and Lean Workshops held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday evenings in the Roadrunner Room of Thomas Branigan Memorial Library, 200 E. Picacho Ave. See the complete list of speakers and Lush and Lean dates at http://www.las-cruces.org/1288/Lush-Lean-Workshops.

You can reach Las Cruces Utilities at 525-528-3500 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Las Cruces Utilities provides services to approximately 100,000 Las Cruces residents and businesses.