It’s time to do the right thing.
We all know how important bees and other insects are to a healthy food system, but did you know that unless you are buying certified USDA organic plants, seeds, soil, compost or trees, you are doing more harm than good for our pollinators?
Last year, in the US alone, over 60% of bee hives perished. YOU can make a REAL difference in 2017’s stats buy supporting organic farmers.
Vote with your wallet this Spring!
1. Ask for certified USDA Organic plants, seeds and bulbs at your local garden shop. Look for the USDA logo to verify that the product you buy is indeed, pesticide free. (learn why here.)
2. Buy USDA Certified Organic food for your self and your family. I personally LOVE Natural Grocers (behind Boston Market off Kietzke Lane in Reno). 100% of their produce is organic, where other big chain stores are not! Look for the #9 at the beginning of the serial code on any food items you buy to verify it is indeed organic!
3. Forward this email to all your contacts and educate them on how to save our pollinators, our future food supply and ultimately our only home, our planet.
Need a public speaker for your next event? Call me at 775 870 0488. I would love to present.
Honeybees, leaf cutter bees, butterflies, lady bugs and all kinds of pollinators are in a fight for their life. Why? Bee Habitat loss.
Top 5 Reasons Why our Friendly Bugs are disappearing at an alarming rate:
1. Loss of habitat: Ever expanding shopping malls, apartment complexes and mini mansions are eating up what is left of their natural habitats.
2. Pesticide exposure: Every plant, tree, shrub, flower that you purchase from large or small garden shops have been treated with a systemic pesticide that can last up to 5 years on the woody parts of the plant. You cannot “wash” this pesticide off. Seeds are treated as well. These pesticides are called neonicotinoids, or NEONICS for short.
3. The flower industry uses up to 50x’s the amount of pesticides. When buying flowers or plants for your loved one, you are sending them a beautiful bee trap. Thousands of florists each year suffer from debilitating diseases, tumors and health problems as a result.
4. Big AG uses a great deal of pesticides to grow mono crops to maximize their dead soils efficiency. Round up, pesticides and bringing in bees from other parts of the country to pollinate their crops knowing the pesticides will kill the bees. They have to truck in pollinators as they have all but destroyed what was left of their local bee populations.
5. Lack of correct information to follow. So much misinformation is shared by well meaning and not so kind pesticide companies. Mommy bloggers are hired to write articles on bees and pesticides as well.
What can I do about this? How do I get started helping my local pollinators?
Buy organic. When ever you buy organic food, flowers and plants, you help an areas local pollinators make it through to another season. Organic farmers need bees to pollinate their crops and often plant wildflowers along side their crops to help attract them to their fields. Supporting a local organic farmer will help keep organics in the grocery isles. Encouraging more organic farmers will help repair the soil and eco system for a number of wildlife including bees. Try searching for a local supplier of organic bouquets, flowers and plants, but if you cannot find one, start your own or go online and search for organic garden shop, organic flowers or native plant garden shops. Most native plants should be pesticide free or neonic free. Planting local native plants will help save you water, energy and will not need to use synthetic fertilizers that kill the soil and harm your health.
Please ask your neighbors to do the same. Share this information with as many people as you can. Thank you for caring for our bees future as well as your own.
Quick Facts on what YOU can do starting NOW!
1. buy and plant only organic trees, shrubs, flowers.
2. stop use of Roundup which kills micro organisms in your soil, forcing you to use synthetic and deadly fertilizers.
3. STOP using pesticides of any kind. Use safe, organic alternatives. Search on Google : “name of pest” safe alternative, organic alternative.
4. buy ORGANIC as often as you can afford.
5. ask your florist to start selling organic flowers. The Flower industry uses up to 50x’s more pesticides than big ag.
6. call local businesses and ask them to offer organic products.
7. practice what you preach. if no organic christmas trees are available, go plastic.
Declining populations of European honeybees, native bees and other pollinators have been well documented over the past few years. Research indicates that a combination of factors have contributed to this decline. These factors include habitat loss, poor nutrition, parasites such as the varroa mite, pathogens such as fungi and viruses, and exposure to pesticides.
The role of chemical pesticides in the decline of pollinators has been widely studied. Eric Mussen, a UC Cooperative Extension expert on bee keeping (apiculturist), reported that researchers have found nearly 150 pesticide residues in samples of adult bees, pollen and beeswax taken from beehives. Among the residues, which are thought to be involved in colony decline and loss of native pollinators, are limited amounts of neonicotinoid insecticides (neonics).
A mass die-off of bumble bees in Oregon has been attributed to a mis-application of a neonicotinoid on linden trees. Although no direct link has been found between the neonics and what is known as Colony Collapse Disorder of honey bees, it is believed that these pesticides weaken the honeybee immune system, thus making the bees more susceptible to pathogens and diseases.
The neonics have several characteristics that are attracting attention. They are systemic pesticides, meaning they are absorbed into the plant tissue. Systemic pesticides can be applied in a number of ways: by drenching the soil; injecting directly into trees; used as a spray; and even applied as a seed coating. As these pesticides are translocated throughout the plant tissues, pollen and nectar become toxic. Pollinators that visit flowering plants to collect pollen and nectar are then exposed to the pesticide. Research has found that even small levels of neonics affect the ability of bees to navigate and impair their ability to detect odors. These are both important factors in their ability to forage for food.
Neonics are long-lasting and have been found to persist in soils for months and even up to six years in woody plants. Untreated plants can also absorb these chemicals from soil residues from previous applications. This is of particular concern because they are used constantly to coat corn and other seeds, leading to a cycle of soil contamination.
Because many products approved for home and garden use can be legally applied at rates significantly higher than the rates approved for agricultural crops, home gardeners may unwittingly be exposing pollinators to toxic levels of pesticides. Neonics found in common home and garden products include imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, acetamiprid and dinotefuran.
What can you do to help? Avoid using systemic neonic products in your garden by checking the active ingredients on the label. Ask local nurseries if plants or seeds they sell are treated with a neonic product. Several home and garden retailers have already agreed to eliminate neonic-treated plants from their nurseries. When applying a fertilizer, avoid fertilizer-pesticide combinations because many of them contain neonics. If pesticide use is warranted to control worm pests, turn to one of the organic pesticides such as Bt.
Most importantly, practice Integrated Pest Management or IPM techniques to control garden pests (see http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/).
Chemical pesticides can negatively affect all insects, including ladybugs and other beneficial predators that keep destructive pests such as aphids under control. Create a pollinator-friendly garden by planting patches of pesticide-free flowering plants. The goal is to provide food sources for pollinators throughout the year.
The Xerces Society is a great resource for more information on the dangers of neonics and how to create a pollinator-friendly garden (http://www.xerces.org).
Bee Habitats goal is to build bee safe gardens, homes and habitats around the country. Enjoy some photos of bee you tiful bee habitats from the US. Please follow us on Pinterest and learn how you can help us create Bee Habitats around the world.
Did you know that ROUNDUP is killing our bees, birds and butterflies? Please plant more Milkweed and save our habitats!
Bee Habitat Guide. Download a FREE guide!
Every day, find a way, to do one small or BIG thing for the bees. We would love to see your photos, videos, news articles and advice on how we all can do our part to bring awareness to 8% of the population.
Why only 8% you ask? 8% is the number of people it takes to make an idea spread like wild fire. Contact us on Facebook and share your story!
500-mile hike to raise awareness of plight affecting pollinators
Tony Singh and his daughter Moselle show off a map of the Colorado Trail that they will hike to raise awareness about bees and how their survival is linked to that of humans. They also will collect pledges for educational programs in the Quad-Cities to teach the importance of pollinators and what humans can do to improve their habitat. Read more on how they are saving our bees here. Save the Bees Reno walk August 16th 2014 Reno Nv Idlewild Park Radio Interview
Did you know that most flowers and plants at your local garden shop have been contaminated by bee killing neonics?
Most garden shops and nursuries treat their plants with a form of systemic herbicide or pesticide that stays with the plants for up to 4 years.
You cannot wash this chemical off.
When a bee, lady bug, dragonfly or other native pollinator visits the plant in your yard, you are damaging their ability to remember how to get back home.
Some times killing them out right.
Use organic or natural plants, seeds and flowers only!
Search for local organic, heirloom and bee safe plants, seeds and flowers.
BeeHabitat.com is putting together a world wide list of garden shops that label bee safe and/or sell bee friendly plants and garden supplies.
Please contact us to bee added to the free list.
1. Plant NEONIC Free plants only.
2. Never use Round Up or any other pollinator killing chemical in your yard.
3. Call your local garden shops and ask that they label Bee Safe plants.
4. Share this information with everyone you can.
5. Organize a local BeeHabitat zone. We would love to help.
6. Hold a Save the Bees party at your house!
7. Read a childrens book at a local libary educating our young (and their parents) about the plight of the bee.