After recent incidents of bumble bee deaths this summer, the Oregon Department of Agriculture issued new pesticide restrictions to protect bees. Metro natural gardening expert Carl Grimm shared tips for helping all of our important pollinators thrive – and encourage the work they do in your garden.
Bees, butterflies, birds and even bats carry pollen from flower to flower so plants can produce seeds and fruits. Without pollinators we’d lose one of every three mouthfuls of our food and drink, including nutritious fruits and vegetables like apples, almonds and blueberries.
But pollinators like bees are struggling to survive, in part, because of pesticides. If you’re concerned by this, you’re not alone. A recent social media survey by the Oregon Zoo revealed that local bumblebees are the number one animal respondents “would be most likely to take action to protect.” Fortunately there a plenty of things everyone can do to help pollinators while keeping our yards looking great.
1. Avoid pesticides, particularly the ones most toxic to bees.
1. Plant diverse flowers, especially native ones, so pollinators have the nectar they need.
2. Create and protect nesting sites.
Ask Metro for free booklets on safe and healthy gardening and a guide to native plants for pollinators at 503-234-3000 or at oregonmetro.gov/nativeplants.
For a great collection of factsheets and other resources for protecting pollinators, check out the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation at bringbackthepollinators.org.