Tuesday, June 16, 2015

5 Ways to Help Save the Bees

My husband worked hard to remove the top layer of grass on an 8'x8' section of our lawn. Then he chopped up the roots from the oak trees and turned the soil a bit. Next, he filled the wheel barrel a few times with compost soil and spread it out, mixing it with some organic top soil he'd bought. Next, he planted seeds; but only after he'd thrown out an entire container of wildflower seeds that bore the Miracle Gro label (we bought them before we knew any better). Why did my 68-year-old husband, who had a heart attack and a bulging disc in his back just this past February, do all of this work? Quite simply, to help save the bees. He's my hero.

Now, we're patiently waiting and watching as the tender, but tenacious, seeds sprout and grow. 

We avoided planting any seeds or plants in our gardens that were treated with neonics. The problem with neonicotinoids is that they act as a nerve poison. This causes disorientation in bees, adversely affecting their homing instincts, which means they cannot find their way back to their hives. And if they do arrive back at the hive, they come back with pesticide-laden pollen and nectar. The results, since the EPA approved the use of neonics, has been widespread bee colony collapse.

This is just like ours and available here.
Back to what we're doing... In addition to planting the pollinator garden, we hung up our bee house and the bees went in, laid eggs, packed the holes up, and left. Now we're patiently waiting and watching as the tender, but tenacious, baby bees hatch and escape. 

I also put out two saucers of river rocks and colorful glass and filled them with just a bit of water so the pollinators have fresh water every day. And, we're only planting plants and seeds not treated with neonicotinoids.

So, here are the 5 tips I promised you:
  1. Plant a bee-friendly garden. (Ask, ask, ask about neonicotinoids before you buy!)
  2. Avoid products like Roundup and other toxic pesticides and insecticides.
  3. Add a bee house to your garden/yard. 
  4. Add a water supply source. Click here for an example.
  5. Go organic -- from compost to garden soil, keep it organic and toxin-free.
There are my tips. Feel free to comment below and share what you and your family are doing to save the bees in your neighborhood. Every little bit helps.

Keeping it green in the garden,

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