I've already told you about the crowd-sourced bee health initiative, Bee Informed, but here's another movement that non-beekeepers can also get on board with!
We all know that policy makers and manufacturers really aren't moving quickly enough to help honey bee health. That's where millions of average citizens, sideline beekeepers, and backyard gardeners have stepped in to at least guarantee that their immediate area is pesticide free. Honey Bee Haven is a new website created in collaboration between Beyond Pesticides and Pesticide Action North America where people can plot their personal bee safe havens on a map. The idea is to show a visual representation of people who care and where they are located. Participants are also encouraged to take a pesticide-free pledge and to protect the well being of honey bees everywhere.
As Honey Bee Haven mentions, you don't need to be a beekeeper to promote honey bee health and there are a few simple things you can do. Things that we all need.
3. Shelter. Many bees do not live in hives or colonies. By creating an ideal nesting site, you can attract species to nest and hibernate in your garden. Bumblebees, for example, hibernate and nest in abandoned rodent nests, birdhouses, snags and logs. They also are attracted to piles of cut vegetation, compost heaps, and mounds of earth and rubble. Leaving some areas in your garden bare, preferably in a sunny location, provides other ground-nesting bee species areas to dig tunnels into the soil to create nests. Brush piles, dead trees, and some dead branches or dried pithy stems attract stem-nesting bees such as leafcutter bees, while others such as the blue orchard bee prefer to use mud to build their nests.
So, what do you think? It's a quick and easy way to show that you care about the bees. I plotted my little slice of joy in Flint, Michigan and added a bit more color to the map. Next?