Tag Archives: Bees

6 Fun Ways To Celebrate Earth Day With Your Family


Earth Day is Saturday! Do you have any special plans to celebrate our planet with your family? If you don’t, I have some great ideas to share. Earth Day is a special day to stress the importance of giving back to the planet we live on. Teach your children to respect and nurture the Earth and you will be making a difference not only in the next generation but our planet as well.

Go on a Litter Walk

Grab some trash bags and gloves and set off around your neighborhood cleaning up the trash that is around. Explain to your kids how littering like this is dangerous to wildlife. As you pass your neighbors encourage them to join in. Before you know it, you will have a parade of trash pickers and as they say; many hands makes the load lighter.

Plant a Garden

Nothing shows your kids where their food comes from better than planting a garden. From seeds or seedlings, they will see the entire process. Let them help with tending and caring for the garden all season. By the time of your last harvest, you will have some very experienced gardeners.

If if is too cold yet to plant by you, plan out your garden with your kids. You can start getting your garden ready by cleaning up last years plant remains, leaves, sticks and other debris. Then break up the soil. You should pick a soil test kit up and test your soil to see what nutrients it is lacking. The better your soil, the better your garden.

If you don’t have land to plant a garden, plant some container gardens or vertical gardens. There are some great ideas for maximizing your space on sites like Pinterest, so check it out.

Plant a Tree

This is a lot of fun, take a ride down to your local nursery and pick out a tree or shrub. Then go home and plant it together. Again, enlist your children to take part in the planting and care of the tree. Explain how the plants and trees give us something we need to live…oxygen.

Start a Habitat Garden

Did you know that our population of pollinators is dwindling? It is, and our food supply depends on bees and butterflies to thrive. Do your part by researching the types of plants you need to create a habitat garden.

The Monarchs main food source in the Milkweed plant but along with that you can plant native grasses, butterfly bushes, bee balm and so much more. There are also butterfly houses and feeders as well as bee houses you can add to help our pollinators. We visited a butterfly house last year with our kids and learned so much.

Start Composting

Do you compost? If not you should. It will not only cut down on your organic household garbage, it will enrich the soil in your garden. It is not hard and you have a lot of options.

There are countertop compost bins you can use to collect your daily vegetable peels, banana skins, egg shells, coffee grounds etc. Then you can take them out to a compost bin or drum. They have nice units you can buy that make it super easy or your can put up some wire fencing and make a bin of your own. You can read more about the process HERE.

Go For a Family Hike:

See the beauty of our planet by taking a family hike. It is good exercise for the body, mind and soul. Pack along a picnic lunch and make a day of it. There are resources for your state where you can find recommendations for great trails. Go somewhere new, you might be surprised at the beauty you find and did not know existed in your state.

What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day?



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#BeeBold For Bees & Join Friends Of The Earth BeeAction Campaign! We Did!

BeeBold Campaign

I love being outside this time of year because there’s so much beauty to be seen.  I have my perennials exploding with color, gold and rose finches by the dozens, cardinals, doves, robins, wrens, chickadees, woodpeckers, swallowtail butterflies and even a pair of majestic bald eagles that nest on our lake all around. Of course along with the birds we have our helpers the bees who keep our flowers, vegetables and fruits pollinated.
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I am very opposed to any type of pesticide use that is not natural or organic.  Did you know that bees are dying at alarming rates due to the use of pesticides that are toxic to bees called neonic pesticides. Did you know that many bee friendly plants you can buy have neonic pesticides in them? Neonic pesticides are one of the most widely used class of insecticides in the world and are manufactured by Bayer and Syngenta.
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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.

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Neonics are also harming other helpful insects and animals critical to sustainable food production and healthy ecosystems, like wild bees, butterflies, dragonflies, lacewings, and ladybugs,birds,earthworms,mammals and aquatic insects. There is an urgent need to restrict neonics in the United States and Canada.
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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.

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Beekeepers have lost an average of 30% of their hives in recent years, with some beekeepers losing all of their hives and many leaving the industry. This is too high to be sustainable. Recent losses are staggering making it difficult for beekeepers to stay in business and for farmers to meet their pollination needs for important crops like almonds and berries.
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Friends of the Earth is helping to do something about the declining bee populations and the use of neonic pesticides. Bringing awareness of the dangers of using neonic pesticides and with their “bee’n’bee” kits that allow people to create a bee oasis in their backyards.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

We need to change the law to restrict neonics in the U.S. as Europe and Ontario, Canada have done.
Our own survival is tied closely to the survival of bees and other pollinators. Find out more how you can help the bees and other pollinators at BeeAction Campaign.  Follow Friends Of The Earth on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
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This post is sponsored by Friends of the Earth.  As always my words and views are 100% my own.


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