She might be tainted by her connection to a leadership that has not met our hopes, but Michelle Obama is taking a lead in the White House protecting bees.
She has planted a garden with bee fodder. We could do well to follow her example and show our support by signing this rather positive petition.
If you visit the petition page you’ll also read some of the facts about the appalling decline in bee numbers.
Other ways to inform yourself
1. View the trailer for:
Then see the film – and take action
2. Watch the documentaries:
The possible villain?
Contact versus systemic pesticides
Contact pesticides are usually applied to crops after they’ve developed their fruit/leaf growth. These pesticides kill chewing insects. Because they are applied after flowering, bees are less susceptible to them.
Systemic pesticides are applied to the seed. As the plant grows all parts of the plant are affected. When they produce their flowers bees feed as normal. The fear is that the bees are affected by the tainted pollen and nectar.
Scientists are now investigating if low levels of systemic pesticide that a bee might ingest from these pesticides are affecting the bees’ navigation systems so that they cannot find the way home to the hive.
So what else can you do personally?
Stop using pesticides across your garden. Use only natural sprays that discourage non-beneficial insects chewing on your produce after it has developed. Organic Spraying Oil; Caterpillar control. Here are some ideas on organic, non-harmful products used in the US
- Grow on your vegetables until they seed naturally, then gather and use the untreated seed
- Join a seed bank or buy seed from reputable organic sources
- Ask your neighbours to join you in banning non-organic sprays from their gardens
- Grow supplementary food plants for bees, choosing plants that flower at different times of the spring to autumn season
- Have a diversity of plants flowering all season. Have several plant species flowering at once planted in clumps.
- Plant where bees will visit. Bees visit sunny spots more often.
In my next blog I will bring you some Bee-Safe Garden Practices