Help Save Our Pollinators
Bring bees and butterflies back to your garden with these helpful tips
Bees are a vital part of our eco-system and these industrious insects work together with moths, butterflies, flies, beetles and other animals to produce our food crops. Bees alone pollinate 70 of the 100 plant species that feed the world’s population. Pollinators are not only responsible for ensuring our food crops produce, but also for perpetuating all plant species and the animals who live off them. Without pollinators, our whole eco-system and food chain would not be able to sustain itself or the earth’s population. If you want to help our pollinators, there is so much you can do. Here’s a couple of ways in which you can ensure that our food crops and environment have a future.
Stop using pesticides in your garden. Pesticides are one of the leading causes of pollinator decline in Canada. That doesn’t mean you need to leave your garden unprotected—find natural pesticides and herbicides that you can make yourself. You’ll have a healthier garden for pollinators and your family while saving money too.
While you’re at it, kick those chemical fertilizers to the curb. Instead, create a simple DIY composter that will turn your kitchen scraps into a rich natural compost. This reduces your contribution to landfills and saves money.
Make a Bee Garden
Plant native species as these have evolved alongside your local pollinators and will help sustain them. Native plant species are uniquely adapted to your local climate and will be resistant to disease and predators. This means you spend less time and money on watering and combatting pests. Here are some examples from Wildlife Presentation Canada: cardinal flower, honeysuckle, bee balm, zinnia, phlox, mint, fuchsia, sage, cosmos, English lavender, nasturtium, lupine, coneflower, geranium, black-eyed Susan, sunflower, angel’s trumpet, verbena, aster, shasta daisy.
Make a bee bar by using a shallow plate or saucer and filling it with a little water—just enough to evaporate by the end of the day. Place a few pebbles in so the bees can safely get a drink.
Now that your bees can eat and drink they need a place to stay. Make your own ‘bee and bee hotel’ for the many varieties of solitary bees. Get full DIY instructions here.
Plant milkweed as these plants support monarch butterflies whose numbers have dropped dramatically in recent years. You can also adopt a monarch butterfly from the National Wildlife Fund with a donation that goes to protecting these beautiful pollinators.
Join the Bumblebee Watch and be a citizen scientist. Your information can help track bumblebee populations and invasive species.
Do you have an idea for an article?
Tell us what’s on your mind and your eco-friendly suggestion might be turned into a story.