Bee Haven Guiding Principles:
PROTECT BEES FROM PESTICIDES
Pesticides are extremely toxic to bees and other pollinators. Certain pesticides including neonicotinoids, are highly lethal to honey bees in particular causing colony collapse disorder (CCD). Pesticides kill beneficial insects including pollinators and natural enemies that control common pests like aphids. Pesticides and mosquito sprays seep into our waters, dirt and natural environment—decimating our water systems, grub and worm populations that birds and other animals feed on, and so much more. There are many amazing natural alternatives out there that are just as effective.
To keep your lawn and garden happy, healthy and teeming with life for pollinators, you should avoid the products that contain neonicotinoids. Look for members of the neonicotinoid family on the labels and avoid the following: acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloprid, nitenpyram, nithiazine, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam.
When purchasing flowering plants, opt for buying from local nurseries that do NOT pretreat their plants with harmful pesticides that will kill off bee and pollinator communities. Perhaps the best way for home gardeners to confirm whether the plants they purchase at retail garden centers or big box stores have been treated with neonicotinoids, is to ask the staff or look at the plant labels.
When possible, instead of using pesticides explore organic ways to grow healthy plants, such as using compost for healthy soil, as well as controlling pests with homemade remedies and bio-controls like ladybugs. Review some of our natural alternatives to pesticides here.
Provide a variety of food for bees
Consider clustered plantings with staggered blooming times throughout the year—this will provide pollinators a food source throughout the year (particularly important in the late summer and fall). Native plants are always best to plant. This includes flowering trees, bushes, herbs, perennials, annuals, as well as inter-plantings and hedgerows provide additional forage on farms. Pollinators also LOVE wildflowers! Plant them wherever you see a bare space—the pollinators and our natural environment will thank you!
Provide a water source for bees
Provide a year-round, clean source of water for bees. This can be a river, pond, irrigation system, rainwater collection system or smaller scale system such as a bird bath. A bird bath filled with stones (for pollinators to use a a drinking ledge)—filled with water far enough that they can still use the stones as a base to stand on while drinking—is perfect for pollinators! We demonstrated an example of this method here. Shallow water sources can provide more than enough water for bees, without creating mosquito breeding grounds.
Provide a shelter for bees
Leave some ground undisturbed and untilled, as well as some dead trees, sticks and plants on the property for wild bees to nest in.
Join the movement, sign our pledge, create your own pesticide-free, flowering bee haven and do your part to become the change! With these four simple actions you can make a tremendous positive impact for bees and other pollinators, as well as our overall global environment!