The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has put 7 species of Hawaiian bees on the Endangered Species List. This is the first time bees have been placed on the list. Bees and other important pollinators like butterflies are at risk of disappearing throughout the U.S. and around the planet. These creatures are under threat from things like habitat destruction, invasion of non-native plants, and wildfires and other weather-related disasters.
According to recent reports, 40% of the world’s pollinators could be facing extinction. Since around 75% of the plants that we eat rely on pollination, the loss of these animals could have significant consequences for all of us. What can we do to help save the bees in our own local ecosystems? There are many ways to attract bees and other beneficial pollinators to your yard, and provide them with much needed food. Here are some great tips from the Honeybee Conservancy:
- Replace all or part of your lawn with flowering plants.
- Plant native, bee-friendly plant species.
- Choose single-headed flowers like daisies and marigolds over double-headed flowers.
- Plan for your garden to bloom all year-round:
- Spring: borage, crocus, hyacinth, lilac, calendula
- Summer: bee balm, echinacea, cosmos, snapdragon, foxglove, hosta
- Fall: zinnia, aster, witch hazel, goldenrod, sedum
- Provide bees with nesting sites in your garden, such as the ones shown HERE.
- Avoid chemical herbicides and pesticides. Try controlling pests with natural options like ladybugs, available at many garden centers.
- Make a “bee bath” by filling a shallow container with pebbles and fresh water.
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