Creating a pesticide-free, pollinator-friendly space is easy! Whether you have a large yard, front stoop or balcony window, follow these simple guidelines:
- Avoid pollinator-harming pesticides. Pesticides kill beneficial insects including pollinators and natural enemies that control common pests like aphids. Certain pesticides, including neonicotinoids, are highly toxic to honey bees in particular. Instead of using synthetic pesticides, explore organic ways to grow healthy plants, such as using compost for healthy soil and controlling pests with homemade remedies and biocontrols like ladybugs.
- Provide a variety of food. Consider clustered plantings with staggered blooming times so there is food throughout the year, particularly in the late summer and fall. Native plants are always best, and inter-planting and hedgerows provide additional forage on farms.
- Provide a year-round, clean source of water. This can be a river, pond, irrigation system, rainwater collection system or small-scale garden water features. Shallow water sources can provide more than enough water for bees and other pollinating insects without creating opportunities for mosquitoes to breed.
- Provide shelter for pollinators. Leave some ground undisturbed and untilled and some dead trees and plants on the property for wild bees to nest in.
Interested in expanding your Honey Bee Haven? Get a sign for your yard to jumpstart conversations with your neighbors. Or click here for more details on how to help pass a resolution to protect bees on public land in your city or town.