Today we’re talking about something dear to me: bees! Our bee populations are in trouble, but you can use these bee safe gardening practices this summer to start standing up for bees.
Plant More Flowers, Less Grass
Bees are starving on our turf grass lawns that provide no nutrition for them in the form of flowers. Even worse, for years over half of store-bought plants and flowers have been grown with bee-killing chemicals called neonicotinoides. If you maintain your own lawn, stop using sprays and chemical mixes that contain these insecticides right now. For what to avoid, start with this list from BeSwell.org. While you’re there, download a free poster like this one:
Next, consider using a bee-friendly lawn seed mix that includes clover for them to snack on. Bonus–it’s also less maintenance than a pure turf grass yard. Did you know that once all lawns contained white clover? As standards for pure green lawns grew, the clover was eliminated–along with an important food source for bees.
If you don’t have your own lawn, consider talking to your Home Owner’s Association about the importance of helping our bee populations survive.
Buy the Right Potted Flowers
When you buy potted flowers, ask: were they grown using neonicotinoides? (These are sometimes called neonics for short.) Sometimes, the sellers will have NO idea what you’re talking about. I won’t buy anything there. However, awareness has been growing tremendously and many gardeners are conscientious about creating a bee safe yard. When I shopped at Lowe’s recently, the nursery staff was well aware of the issue and assured shoppers that as of this year they are 100% neonic-free.
Advertise Your Bee Safe Gardening Practices
You can get a little “Bee Safe Yard” sign that announces your commitment to the health and safety of the planet. Get your sign for a small donation at Humming for Bees.
Pure green turf isn’t better! A bee safe yard is the most beautiful yard of all. Together, we can change our standards of yard beauty–bee safe gardening is the best solution for bees, and for us.