November 13, 2017

Planting for Pollinators: Help Save The Bees And Butterflies

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Save the Bees and Butterflies

We have insects to thank – especially the bees and butterflies for the food we eat. Pollinators like honeybees provide the food supply across the world.  These very pollinators have sadly been on a decline for the past few decades. Save the bees and butterflies.

As per reports of beekeepers, there have been major hive losses with the native bees and butterflies steeply declining for a variety of well known reasons.

The best method to help the pollinators is by helping save the bees and butterflies habitat. The best ways regular dwellers can help with their gardens and lawns no matter where they live are provided here in order to increase awareness. Check these out below:

Go Native – is the Way to GO

To encourage a diversity of pollinators to make sure you choose a variety of native plants in different colors and shapes. Any plant that is native will adapt better to the local climate than the exotic plants. Since there are over 4,000 bee species is better to have different sizes and species of blossoms. Make sure that some or the other native plants are blooming every season – as different bee species are active all year round and need to be fed.

Always plant in clumps – Pollinators can easily find their blooms they are in clumps rather than single plants. Avoid night blooming flowers to avoid moths and bats.

Save the Queen – Save the Bees

Bumble bees are different to honeybees and have an annual cycle. Queens are born in fall after which they breed and find a place to hibernate for winters. They re-emerge in spring when they need pollen and nectar and if they don’t find adequate amounts of sources they are unable to start colonies and lose their habitat.

Milkweed is Recommended

If you add milkweed to your garden it provides food for the caterpillars, in addition the late summer flowers provide the nectar for adult butterflies. In fall the adults are hungry before they head to the overwintering sites.

Avoid hybrid flowers – say NO to those with doubled flowers

Plant breeders have to remember that hybrid flowers do not have nectar, pollen or fragrance are uncongenial for bees and butterflies to thrive on. Save the bees and butterflies.

Include larval hosts for butterflies

If you love colorful butterflies grow plants suitable for their caterpillars. A butterfly guide will give you insights on where to place the plants where unsightly leaf damage can be tolerated. The host plants are not always ornamental and should be tolerated for the sake of butterflies.

A damp salt lick and a bare ground is a must for bees and butterflies

Take hold of a dripping hose or a dripping irrigation line or make a bird bath on bare soil so that a damp area is formed. Mix a bit of table salt here or even better is sea salt along with wood ashes in the mud for a tasty salt lick for bees and butterflies to breed.

Almost 70 % of the bees dig a nest inside the ground when they are raising young bees – so create spots of bare land or mulch to provide bees their habitat.

Spare that Dead Tree or Limb

If you leave the dead trees or an occasional limb it acts as a nesting site for bees that are native – the only precaution is that it should not be a safety hazard. Or else just build a bee condo/ habitat which can be made by drilling different sized holes in scrap wood – mount them to a post.

Border the fruits and vegetables

Border fruits and vegetables with native flowers to improve pollination of crops and to support bees once the crops stop blooming. Other pollinators such as wasps and hover flies also get attracted to crop pests.

Eliminate use of pesticides

Say NO to pesticides – read labels carefully before making any purchase as they are dangerous for bees. If you do have to use, use least – toxic material and spray at night when pollinators are inactive.

Get Involved

Support pollinators and their habitats by learning more about them. Participate Honeybees Habitat Campaign, or join Bees and Butterflies Conservation Trust for pollinators and spread awareness to bring back the fast decreasing bees and butterflies. Save the bees and butterflies too – Make the world a better place to live in!

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