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Friday, September 11, 2009

Bees in Crisis: the National Wildlife Federation Has Tips to Help : Planet Green



No matter who you are, you can help the plight of the honeybees.

By Rachel Cernansky
Boulder, CO, USA | Thu Sep 10 15:30:00 GMT 2009

Honeybees need your help

Press Association via AP Images

Animals | Honey | Insects | Nature | Outdoors | Take Action

If you haven't been keeping up on the dire situation for honeybees in the last few years, let the National Wildlife Federation help. Bee numbers are dropping as hives disappear and scientists don't yet understand the exact cause--they just know that the bees are in danger and along with them, our food supply as well.

Honeybees pollinate many of the crops we love and depend on, from apples and blueberries to the alfalfa that dairy cows eat (if you're still drinking milk). "Honey bees pollinate approximately $10 billion worth of crops in the United States annually," says the National Wildlife Federation's Why Care? report.

Colony Collapse Disorder is a phenomenon that is mysteriously wiping them out, devastating their own survival as well as the beekeepers who raise them.

Want to help? The National Wildlife Federation has some great tips for how you can "plant for pollinators," including: choosing native and diverse plants, plants that provide a lot of pollen and nectar, and leaving a mess where you garden. (Don't clean up your mulch, for example, so bees and birds have stuff to work with when they need to build their nests.) After all, as The Last Beekeeper illustrates, lawns are simply desert environments for bees. Meadows are where it's at.

The NWF quotes Scott Hoffman Black, executive director of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation: "The neat thing about pollinator conservation is that anyone, from the owner of a golf course to an apartment dweller with a window box, can do something to help."

All you need to do is provide adequate food and habitat for pollinating species, including bees and butterflies--and, of course, avoid spraying pesticides that harm them.

Or, why not try building a bee house?

Don't miss The Last Beekeeper on Planet Green!

Learn more about the plight of the honeybees:
Meet Jeremy Simmons, Director of The Last Beekeeper
Meet Fenton Bailey, Producer of The Last Beekeeper
Green Your Yard, Part 2: Rethinking the Backyard Save the Bees! Grow Garden Plants Honey Bees Love
Blogger Writes About Bee Colony Collapse Disorder in his Backyard

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