#Time4TheTalk: Help Our Pollinators

Now that you know the true story of the birds and the bees, it’s time for us to do something to save them!  It is estimated that one third of the food that we consume each day relies on pollination. Can you imagine going to the store and not being able to buy your favorite foods because bees weren’t around anymore?

Honey bees are the most economically important pollinators in the world. In the U.S. alone, honey bees’ economic contribution is valued at over $19 billion.  In addition to the food that we eat, pollinators support healthy ecosystems that clean the air, stabilize soils, and support other wildlife.  

Here are a few steps to take to help out our pollinators to give them a brighter future:

Buy local honey- Buying local honey means supporting your local bee keepers, local farmers, and enjoying a unique product. Local honey is less likely to have been heat-treated or filtered, meaning that some of the nutritious properties may remain intact.

Have a bee-friendly garden- Gardens are an important environment for honey bees to forage, particularly if you live in an urban environment. If you have a garden, you can attract honey bees by planting plants such as honeysuckle, wild roses, lavender, foxgloves, hollyhocks, clematis, and hydrangeas. Planting wildflowers is a great way to help our pollinators.  Planting fruits, vegetables, and herbs also attracts honey bees looking for a food source. If you don’t have a garden, you can set up some herbs in a window box to attract some pollinators. 

Buy organic food- Buying organic food helps organic farmers and organic farmland, which creates a healthier environment for honey bees. This improves their health and the quality of the food crops that they pollinate.

Avoid pesticide use- Pesticides can kill more than just the targeted pest; they can kill pollinators for several days after the initial spray. Plant a variety of plants to attract native predators and try safely removing pests by hand.

Don’t mow your lawn so often- This will allow proper growth of daisies, white clovers, and other things pollinators like to visit.  Also, leave a few weeds because they help provide pollen.

Provide water- Fill a shallow dish with water or have a bird bath to provide water to pollinators. Also, keep your plants watered to produce more nectar for pollinators. 

Talk about the birds and the bees with everyone! –Help spread the word about how important pollinators are. Post, tweet, and volunteer in your area to help provide safe habitats for pollinators.  All creatures that eat plants (including people) depend on pollinators!

The Creatures Division wants to THANK EVERYONE who has helped us over the past few months get the word out about how important pollinators are, and how it's #Time4TheTalk! We still have a lot to discuss with you- so stay tuned!

 Here are a few tweets you can use to help #ISF get the word out:

Honeybees make long distance relationships work. They'll travel up to 5mi to feed on nectar & gather pollen! #Time4theTalk #ISF

Honeybees play the field, visiting 50-1000 flowers during a single collection trip. #Time4theTalk #ISF

Birds go for looks. Plants that use birds as pollinators typically have bright red, orange or yellow flowers! #Time4theTalk #ISF

Bumblebees know how to work smarter. Scent marking flowers to let others know the nectar is gone. #Time4theTalk #ISF

Want some breakfast? Lunch? Dinner? Pick 2. Because bees pollinate 1/3 of the food you eat. 2 meals without honey bees! #Time4theTalk #ISF

Get batty! Did you know even bats help with pollination?! #Time4theTalk #ISF

Monarchs pollinate but need milk! Well, milkweed that is! #Time4theTalk #ISF

Save the planet, Save our Pollinators! #Time4theTalk #ISF

Go ahead, Google what Einstein said will happen if we lose honey bees… #Time4theTalk #ISF

Have YOU had the Talk? #Time4theTalk #ISF

Help decrease world hunger by making harvests better with happy pollinators! #Time4theTalk #ISF

 

<*)))>< Stefanie

http://www.fws.gov/pollinators/pollinatorpages/yourhelp.html

http://www.co-operative.coop/plan-bee/ways-to-get-involved/Help-pollinat...