10 Ways You Can Save The Bees (And Other Pollinators)

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Bees play a major part in our food system. Here are 10 simple things YOU can do to help save our important pollinators!

You may have heard a lot about the plight of bees recently, so what’s the big deal?

Bees – and many other flying insects – provide the important service of pollinating our crops.

From the apples and pears in your fruit basket, to the peppers and tomatoes in your salad, to the bread or pasta on your plate, just about all of our food relies on pollination of plants. Even the meat you eat is probably fed corn or other grains that require pollination to produce a crop.

The recent widespread death of bees is just the beginning. Due to the over-use of pesticides and other chemicals used on “conventionally” farmed crops, many insects are being eliminated entirely from the ecosystem. Exactly what this means for us humans is only just beginning to be understood – but we already know it’s not good!

Here is a great article with some simple tips for things that YOU can do, right now, to help save our important pollinators:

1. Become a Wildlife Gardener

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2. Plant Natives

Native plants co-evolved with the native wildlife of your region. Native plants form the foundation of habitat for pollinators by providing them with pollen and nectar for food, cover from the elements and predators, and places where their young can grow….

3. Gives Bees Nesting Places

There are 4,000 bee species native to North America (the honey bee is a European import) and most of those don’t form hives. Instead, individual female bees lay their eggs in tunnels in decaying wood or in sandy soil. You can offer such nesting spots by leaving tree snags on your property, by leaving bare batches of sandy soil, or by building or buying whimsical native bee houses.

4. Avoid Pesticides

Bees are our most important pollinators, and they are insects…. Using insecticides will kill these insects. Herbicides will kill important native plants such as milkweed that pollinators rely upon as a food source and a place to raise young. Make the commitment to avoid using chemicals and to maintain your garden in a natural, organic way.

5. Plant Milkweed

The iconic monarch butterfly has declined by over 90 percent in just twenty years. One of the main causes of this decline is a lack of milkweed, the species’ only caterpillar host plant…. By planting milkweed in your own yard, garden or neighborhood, you’ll not only attract these beautiful butterflies, you’ll be providing crucial habitat that will allow their caterpillars to survive….

6. Adopt a Monarch

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Adopt a monarch butterfly and support pollinator conservation.

7. Protect Grasslands

America’s native grasslands are critically important for pollinators such as bees and monarch butterflies. Our grasslands are filled with native plants that offer nectar and pollen for bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and a wide variety of pollinators….

8. Join NWF Affiliate Efforts in Your State

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9. Post a Yard Sign

When you create a pollinator garden and certify it with National Wildlife Federation, you become part of the exclusive group of people who can post a Certified Wildlife Habitat sign. The sign is a wonderful way of letting your friends and neighbors know about all the hard work you’ve done to make a difference for wildlife like pollinators. Posting the sign is also a grassroots way of spreading the message that each of us can make a difference by creating a pollinator-friendly garden or landscape and inspiring others to follow your example….

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10. Spread the Word on Social Media

You can amplify National Wildlife Federation’s call to action by spreading the message about the plight of bees, monarch butterflies and other declining pollinators on social media. Take a minute to share this post on Facebook, Twitter and your other social media networks. That simple act can help take the message to millions more people than we can reach alone….

Take the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge

The National Wildlife Federation is joining with dozens of conservation and gardening organizations as well as seed groups to form the National Pollinator Garden Network and launch a new nationwide campaign – the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge.

To learn more, and find out how you can take part in the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, see the full article at One Green Planet.

 

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