5 Ways You Can Help Save Our Bees and Butterflies.
Over the last several years, scientists and bee keepers have been raising alarm bells about the issue of bees dying in massive droves.
Did you know that 90% of plants are dependent on bees and butterflies for fertilization and reproduction? This includes most crops that we rely on for our food. Without bees and butterflies, food production worldwide will be seriously compromised.
Throughout the world, people are being asked to do their part to help pollinators. Here are some easy ways you can help the bees and butterflies this summer.
Love Your Dandelions
Dandelions have such a bad rap. They are the first “weed” to make an appearance in spring and are considered a scourge to lawn lovers everywhere. They are also the first food of the season for bees. Start looking at those dandelions as the most beautiful yellow flower on your lawn and feed the bees this spring.
Say No To Plants Treated with Neocontionoides
Neocontionoides are a class of insecticides believed to cause death in bees and butterflies. They act as a nerve agent and when bees feed from plants that have been treated with these it is believed they become disoriented and die. Make sure you check that plants are not treated with these. Some retailers label their plants but many do not. Ask you local lawn and garden center which plants are not treated.
Have a Pesticide and Insecticide Free Garden and Lawn
Aim to use only natural ways to keep the bugs and weeds away.
Plant Bee and Butterfly Friendly Plants
Whether you have a full back yard or front yard garden or just a small balcony, you can plant certain plants that are wonderful for bees and butterflies. Wildflowers native to your area are especially great and are invaluable for local beekeepers and wild bees. Milkweed is one of the best plants for pollinators.
Don’t Kill Your Bees
Educate yourself on the difference between honey bees and wasps. Honey bees are quite docile and, contrary to popular belief, they are not out to get you. Steer clear of them and they will have little to do with you. If one lands on you, just stay calm and still. The bee will leave after realizing you provide nothing it wants. It is quite easy and safe to coexist with bees in your backyard.
There are many resources online to help you plan your summer with the bees. The David Suzuki Foundation website is a great resource for all the information you need to plant for a bee and butterfly friendly home. http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/wildlife-habitat/projects/save-the-bees-and-butterflies/
Home and garden centres are stocking milkweed to plant in your garden specifically for monarch butterflies .Check out the #GotMilkweed campaign here to find where you can get milkweed seeds.