HOW CAN WE SUPPORT POLLINATORS?
www.fws.gov/pollinators/pollinatorpages/yourhelp.html includes podcasts, videos
www.xerces.org: newsletter, searchable database, Pollinator Habitat signs, pledge
crownbees.com has easy info, series of lessons, sells solitary bees and kits
www.grownativemass.org includes annual sale of native plants
- Avoid toxins incl. herbicides. Dandelions are useful (and tasty)!
- Careful where you get plants. Ask! Favor small stores and local swaps.
- Limit non-natives. Pull out and trash harmful plants. Black swallow-wort is a perennial vine that’s cute but terrible; its pods spread thousands of seeds on the wind.
- Favor produce grown with better practices; support those growers.
Help those helping: give money, time, word-of-mouth.
Raise awareness. Ask. Organize.
Neighbors, friends, family, “church,” school (www.wholekidsfoundation.org/schools/honey-bee-grant), employer, city/state entities and higher.
- Be ready to speak about clear, simple-enough points. Consider how frame it best to appeal to your audience: Pollinators are gentle and fun, food costs rise, etc.
- Newsletters & social media: subscribe, share content with a personal comment.
- Conversation starters: sign, shirt, profile picture, email signature, “Give bees a chance”
- Various interests: art, science, food, mindfulness... Could combine “budgets.”
- Petitions. Letters to media and elected officials. Grant writing.
- Get-togethers! View videos, create habitat, raise funds, write letters, visit local sites (Fresh Pond, Tufts field research, Audubon)
Create habitat -- even without space of your own.
Give “hotels” and good plants as gifts, help install as needed! Lazy wins in landscaping!
-Leave an area unplanted and unwatered for ground-nesting pollinators
-Leave an area unmowed
-Leave autumn leaves (leaf mold is excellent), some dead wood
Plant pollinator helpers
-Aim for variety of shape, smell, color and timing to sustain many through the year.
- Bees: Big landing pads; yellow and blue colors; sweet smell
- Plant cover crops like clover (earliest in year… clovers; vetch, wild strawberries )
- Don’t forget trees (One Oak tree can support over 500 different species animal and plant)
- Clean water source
- Winter hibernation (shredded leaves, etc.)
- Pollinator corridor
Install “hotels” for solitary bees: make or buy, can be plain or gorgeous!
- Horizontal cavities the diameter of a pencil more or less
- Materials--free of toxins--include: Pieces of wood, drill holes then put in lining paper (change it yearly); Hollow stems (e.g. Japanese knotweed, invasive), gather with duct tape or in open-faced container (coffee can, “bird house,” etc.).
- Smooth the edges and surfaces (fragile bodies!)
- Avoid rain (slight angle, “awning”) and hungry birds (use chicken wire)
- Place ideally at eye level, easy for you to access, and facing east