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Yes, bees matter — and you and your kids can help honey bees thrive by planting pollinator-friendly gardens. Read on to find out how to get your FREE pack of wildflower seeds from BeesMatter.ca. This post is in partnership with Bees Matter — an initiative to spread news about honey bee health in Canada.
Did you know that one out of every three bites of food that we eat is made possible by pollinators like honey bees?
I knew honey bees were critical to our ecosystem, but I have to admit, I didn’t know that those buzzing little pollinators had such a far reaching impact.
Honey Bees have been hitting the headlines in the past few years with some frightening concerns about their health and future.
But the good news in Canada is, according to Statistics Canada, data shows the number of honey bee hives in our country is on the rise.
But that doesn’t mean we don’t have to pay attention to those busy bees — there are still a number of factors contributing to honey bee health issues.
So Bees Matter is working hard to let people know how important bees are and how we can all get involved to help honey bees thrive.
The Biggest Threat to Honey Bees
The biggest threat to honey bees is the varroa mite — a parasitic arachnid that attaches itself to the honey bee and feeds on its blood. The varroa mite weakens the host bee, spreads disease and can desimate honey bee colonies.
Varroa mites can be disastrous to our country’s honey bee population, but beekeepers are using a variety of methods to combat varroa infestations including pesticides, heat and manual management techniques.
How We Can Help
Learning about varroa mite infestations doesn’t just make me squeamish and uncomfortable, it also makes me feel helpless. What can I do to save honey bees from such a huge danger?!? Well one easy way I can help make a difference is by providing nutrition for my local honey bees.
Yes — we can all help FEED honey bees!
Planting Your Pollinator-Friendly Garden
Honey bees need pollen and nectar to thrive — both for fuel to sustain themselves as they search for flowers and to feed their hives when they return.
If there is a lack of nearby food sources, the bees will not be able to adequately prepare for winter.
Since poor nutrition is an important factor, we can jump into action by planting pollinator-friendly plants for honey bees and other pollinators, to do our part ensure our local honey bees have nutritious sources of pollen.
One of the best parts of helping feed the bees is that many pollinator-friendly plants are actually very easy to grow and maintain. In fact, many wildflowers like asters, daisies, calliopsis and gaillardias, and even some “weeds” like butterfly weed and milkweed, are perfect for attracting and feeding Honey Bees and other pollinators like butterflies.
So, don’t get overwhelmed if you aren’t an expert gardener — you can easily plant a pollinator-friendly garden.
Buzzing Garden FREE Seed Kits
Bees Matter wants to help you build your “Buzzing Garden” by providing a pollinator friendly seed kits free of charge to any Canadians who sign up to receive one.
These free seed kits contain 5 wildflower seeds that have been vetted by Pollinator Partnership Canada as non-invasive and beneficial for honey bees. Since it began two years ago, Bees Matter have given out over 70,000 kits across Canada!
When you plant your seeds, simply sprinkle the seeds loosely on top of the dirt. Then, cover them loosely with soil by scraping it over top with your hands or a small rake. After covering them with soil, water well to ensure they have a good chance to germinate.
For more tips on how to help your grow your Buzzing Garden, read this article from Bee Matters, Making the Most of your Buzzing Garden.
And don’t forget to order your Buzzing Garden seeds today. It is super simple, just click over to Bees Matter and sign up to receive your free seed packet in the mail.
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Disclosure: This post is sponsored, so extra thanks for reading and sharing.
Written by Janice Croze, co-founder of 5 Minutes for Mom
Talk with me: @5minutesformom and Facebook.com/5minutesformom
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