Help keep our food chain buzzing

June 10, 2014

Simple ways you can help bees

Bees are among the most important and hardest workers on the planet, pollinating an estimated one third of human food crops. But their numbers have been declining in recent years. Experts suspect diseases and parasites; exposure to pesticides; loss of habitat and food sources as land is converted from native vegetation to fields, lawns, subdivisions and cities; and a shifting climate are responsible.

Here are ways you can help bees and other pollinators:

  • Avoid the use of pesticides, particularly insecticides. When pesticide use is unavoidable, apply in the evening after bee activity has stopped; use products with lower toxicity to bees; and avoid spraying during flowering periods when bees are most active.
  • Help build bee populations by providing habitat and a continuous food supply. Manicured lawns provide neither food nor habitat, so why not convert a corner of your property into a cluster of clover and other wildflowers (no mowing required!). Consider planting a spectrum of perennials that flower all summer long; your garden center can advise you on bee preferences.
  • Create bee habitat by making a bee house or bee bath: perfect projects for kids and their parents!

Let’s not take our bee friends for granted – they’re workers we depend on!

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