The findings of a recent study on the use of terms to promote the purchase of plants has found that the general term “pollinator friendly” is preferable to a specific reference such as “bees.” It seems that consumers want to purchase plants that “benefit and attract all types of pollinators, not just insect pollinators.” The study concluded that providing consumers with products they can purchase to help benefit pollinators in general is one way companies can serve their buyers better. Hopefully, this will also increase the availability of pollinator friendly habitat in the landscape.
Unfortunately the article did not discuss the educational aspects of using “pollinator friendly” labels to promote the sale of products. Just because plants are labeled “pollinator friendly” may not mean they actually are. I suspect it will still be up to the consumers to educate themselves to determine the validity of that term with respect to the product. Will this cultivar really be as pollinator friendly as the true native version? Was it propagated using neonics or some other toxin that is unfriendly to pollinators? Will this nativar impact the biodiversity of this species? These types of questions will still need to be answered in order to make it truly “pollinator friendly.”
Thanks to Denise Gehring for bringing this study to my attention.