Community | August 5, 2016


6 Tips to Protecting Pollinators

Beekeeper Joel Frieders helps us ‘bee’ more proactive in helping the pollinators

We love it when the planet’s busy bees can thrive and keep pollinating. Why? 

Because one out of every three bites* of food we eat each day is thanks to the honeybee and its ingenious pollination process. Unfortunately though, due to pesticides, parasites, habitat loss and other complex issues, our bee population is drastically and dramatically declining but we can help. Thankfully, there are things we can do to help right away!

Today, bee aficionado and founder of the Aurora Bee Company, Joel Frieders, shares 6 easy tips that you can do to help keep our buzzing allies happy and healthy.

Tip 1: Buy local honey.

Local independent beekeepers have their hands on a sticky situation that may be challenging, but allows them to see the direct benefits of their hard work. And this type of work contributes to keeping our pollinator populations up. This is why it’s best to buy honey from your local farmer’s market.

Tip 2: Just the facts.

If you’re going to share information on social media, remember to be helpful and provide factual information. That service can go a long way in educating and enlightening others. If you’re not sure what to share, start by sharing this story! Or, check out the Xerces Society Pollinator Resource Center for more great information.

Tip 3: Teach your children well.

My kids and I don’t have the best track record of maintaining the health of the heartiest of plants. But we keep attempting to grow things because we like to keep active and do what we can to help the bees. Along the way I teach my kids about the benefits of planting, so they’ll grow up and hopefully want to garden themselves, and with their kids.

Tip 4: Get the community and local government involved.

Not all cities allow for local beekeeping; find out what your town allows and if they don’t let you keep a colony, then encourage your city to permit beekeeping. I was able to help do this in Yorkville, Illinois and help to build a community bee garden on unused city property — so I’m proof you can make a change!

Tip 5: Consider your use of chemicals.

Consider only using pesticides when you have a pest, not as a preventative measure. It’s not hard to hand pluck weeds in your flower and tree beds. And it will be great exercise. It’s win-win for you and the bees.

Tip 6: Plant native species, which bloom throughout the year.

Buy a wildflower mix that’s sold specifically for your region, and then plant it everywhere. Some of my favorite plants are considered weeds, but like Echinacea (purple coneflower), they can be really pretty and bloom easily. Here are more great plants that the pollinators will love: black eyed susan, corn poppy, evening primrose, clover, shasta daisy, and scarlet flax. Research what’s native for your area, and then plant away.

Do you love these tips; then this is a great post to share with your friends on Facebook. Don’t forget to use the hashtags #LivingAveda and #AvedaMission.

*Xerces Society, "The Important Life of Bees."

Photo courtesy of Beyond Toxics; Photography by Don Schwartz.