Pollinator Migration

Bumble bees on a cluster of pink flowers
Pollinators need nectar trails consisting of patches of flowering plants to "refuel" during migration

NPS

Following the Nectar

Imagine if you were to embark on a trip across the continent, only to find that all restaurants, grocery stores, food services, and fuel stops were closed. The trip would rapidly become uncomfortable, then dangerous, and finally unsustainable. Such is the risk that migrating pollinators frequently encounter. Using nectar corridors, these travelers time their migrations to coincide with the flowering and fruiting of different plants en route. A nectar trail consists of irregular patches of flowering plants that guarantee stopovers and “refueling” sites to continue the journey.

Unfortunately, many of these flyway habitats are in danger. These areas are threatened by fragmentation, pesticides, invasive plant species, and climate change. This means that many pollinator-friendly “restaurants” and “fuel stops,” that they rely on are going out of business.

Last updated: June 5, 2017

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