Bees are crucial for our food system. Are you aware that bees and other pollinators are essential for two-thirds of the food crops we eat everyday such as almonds, squash, cucumbers, apples, oranges, blueberries, and peaches.
One out of every three bites of food we eat is pollinated by honeybees. The land around our home is a pesticide free zone and we garden organically and the many sunflowers, perennials and vegetables and fruits we have growing all over are flourishing thanks to bees.
Bees contribute over $20 billion to the U.S. economy and $217 billion to the global economy. Neonics are widely used in the U.S. on 140 crops and for cosmetic use in gardens. Neonics can last in soil, water and the environment for months to years to come. Neonics can kill bees outright and make them more vulnerable to pests, pathogens and other stressors while impair their foraging and feeding abilities, reproduction and memory.
BeeAction-Create A Bee Friendly Yard:
Friends of the Earth U.S. had “bee kits” and “bee’n’bee” houses. The kits contain organic sunflower seeds and resources, a bee-safe and pesticide-free zone aluminum yard sign and other informational materials. The “bee’n’bee”kits will include a mason bee house and resources to maintain the house and create pollinator friendly habitat.
Both kits will include resources that will allow people to get more involved with Friends of the Earth and its #BeeAction Campaign. The goal is that after taking action in their own backyards through the “bee map” and kits, individuals and families will use it to connect and stay engaged with Friends of the Earth and the campaign on marketplace and local, state and federal organizing around protecting bees and other essential pollinators.
We recently received a “bee’n’bee” kit with a mason bee house and resources to create a pollinator friendly habitat. It is advised to hang the mason house on a tree, fence or your house about 3-6 feet above the ground in an area that gets morning sun and afternoon shade. It is also advisable to have a wide range of annuals and perennials for the pollinators we are attracting.
Some Good News:
- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it will phase out neonics by 2016
- More than a twenty nurseries, landscaping companies and retailers across the U.S. are taking steps to eliminate bee harming pesticides from their garden plants and their store
- BJ’s Wholesale Club , announced they will require vendors to remove neonics from plants by the end of 2014 or else they will carry warning labels.
- Home Depot, has decided to label plants with neonicotinoids and is working with its suppliers to “find alternative insecticides for protecting live goods and bees.
- Lowe’s, made a public commitment to eliminate neonicotinoid pesticides from its stores including products and plants treated with them, redouble existing integrated pest management practices for suppliers and provide additional material educating customers about pollinator health.
- Whole Foods issued a new product rating system, which identifies pollinator protection as a priority by restricting neonicotinoid pesticides.
- Cities, states and universities across the U.S. have taken steps to restrict neonicotinoids.
We Need To Do More!
This post is sponsored by Friends of the Earth. As always my words and views are 100% my own.