Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Global Warming - What You Can Do For Pollinators

Bumblebees and the flowers they pollinate have...Image via Wikipedia

Q: What can we possibly do if the loss of bees is due to climate change? (Not poor sources of pollen)

A: According to the book I am reading, Keeping Bees, the major causes of bee decline are pesticide use, climate change, invasive species, and habitat fragmentation. Some predict up to 60% of the planet's species will be unable to find enough suitable habitat for their populations to be viable. What you can do follows:

1. “Grow bee -friendly plants, preferably native species local to where you live. Not cultivars, native. Some suggestions: asters, blazing star, golden rod, helianthus (sunflower), Joe-pye weed, coneflower, bergamot (bee balm), evening primrose, cinquefoil, milkweed, willows. Plan to plant so the garden is aesthetically pleasing. Most won't get the premise, which is why education is important.

2. Vegetables that attract bees include squash, tomatoes, strawberries, fennel, coriander, and other umbellifers. Raspberries and blackberries' flowers feed bees and their old stems provide a place for them to rest. Provide nest sites for bees. Blackberry and raspberry canes are used by small carpenter bees, masked bees, small relatives of the leaf utter bees and orchard bees use the old canes as nesting sites and they overwintering inside them.

If... you have wooden benches, fences, or a grape arbor, let the bees burrow into them.

If you have ground bees you should cherish them and consider yourself lucky.

Do not apply wood chips, pebbles, or other surface obstructing materials. Almost no bees will be able to reach the soil.

3. Do not use pesticides.

4. Buy organic food whenever possible.

5. Walk on the grass. Ground nesting bees prefer bare spaces created by those who ignore do not walk on the grass instructions.

6. Encourage bee-friendly practices at various government levels.”

Locally, letters went out in May asking our politicians to join a national movement claiming their level of government as a supporter of National Pollinator Week ( the last week of June). Not one elected official responded. We live in an agricultural region.
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1 comment:

Carol said...

Great suggestions! Our bees need all the help they can get. I feel like I am doing something right for I have wild honey bees for many years now. Glad to have found you here at blotanical. ;>) Carol