I expect a number of readers may be familiar with the frightening trend of bees disappearing, and some may even actually be very concerned. I’ve been following this for a time and, in case you didn’t know yet, there seems to finally be an answer/answers. Watch this, but don’t be depressed, because there are things you can do.
I am sure there are plenty of other ideas to help people begin to address this in practical ways, but since I hate kvetching without offering something that can be done, my initial guerilla/grassroots response will be to buy bulk quantities of the following (untreated) seeds:
- white clover
- red clover
- as many of those native wildflower packs (that few ever use) as people will send/give me beyond what I will buy (oh, here is a source: Wildflowermix.com)
- Whatever native flowers will grow easily.
Like many places in this country our city (Rochester, NY) and surrounding areas have plenty of abandoned properties, former business “properties,” ignored bits of land, barely acceptable parks, neglected back alleys, lots long empty after the city has torn down the houses, neglected and/or abandoned farms/farmhouses, fence rows along the side of highways (let your imagination run wild) that could be “beautified.”
There are also old railway lines, and we have large areas along the Erie Canal that span from Albany to Buffalo (remember the song?). So I am going to do like Johnny Appleseed and make and carry a mix with me and sprinkle seeds wherever I go biking, hiking, walking or deliberately meandering ANY time of year. It’s that easy because you don’t even need to break ground for them to grow – think of dandelions which, by the way, are popular with bees, so (deep breath) leave them alone, or just dig them up where you don’t want them instead of using chemicals/herbicides. Oh, and stop spraying your lawn for insects; there are more natural ways to manage them.
Oh by the way, that pretty pink pea-like flowering groundcover you see along highways are completely unattractive to bees. Stop and see for yourself – then sprinkle some useful seeds. Anyone have some other useful ideas? Would love so see them!