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Pollinators in Southern California

Our Study


We established 3 study sites to evaluate the pollinator attractiveness of 33 species of common ornamental plants. Two sites in San Diego County (Palomar College and San Diego Botanic Garden) studied common ornamental annuals and perennials, mostly non-native, while one site in Orange County (Tree of Life Nursery) compared California natives and non-native perennials.

How did we measure pollinator visitation? We sat around and stared at plants!


Student workers and UCCE researchers learned to identify pollinators in a moment's glance, then used a stopwatch to measure the amount of time different pollinators spent on flowers of different species. We also caught insect specimens with bowl traps and nets, to check that our identifications were correct and to get more information about the pollinator communities in our areas of studies.

For more information on the broader study, including results from across the United States, visit our collaborators' website, Protecting Bees, hosted by the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.