Bee Safe Spring 2018 - Looking further ahead....it is time to recognize all the Bee Safe gardeners currently out there in our community - AND provide an opportunity for interested newbies to get advice on how to become Bee Safe in their own yards. Thus, in Spring 2018 let's organize a 'Bee Safe Q&A Event' where existing Bee Safe Gardeners will be the 'Guests of Honor' and those interested in becoming Bee Safe will have the chance to ask all the burning 'how to' questions they want. I don't have any specifics yet but I would love a few volunteers to assist with this event. Feel free to contact me by responding to this email.
Eiber BeeSafe Initiative is Part of Sustainable Neighborhood Program
As part of Eiber’s Sustainable Neighborhood Program, the Eiberhood organization is encouraging neighbors to consider alternatives to systemic pesticides that are harmful to bees and other beneficial insects.
Systemics, which include a class of chemicals known as neonicotinoids, are the most widely used pesticides in the world, and are found in many common products available at hardware, garden, and large chain stores. They are found in granulars, sprays, and even fertilizers, such as 3-in-1 type products by Bayer, Ortho, Bonide, and others. These chemicals can also be found on live plants purchased at big box stores and nurseries, including plants that are sold as bee attractors!
Studies are linking bees’ Colony Collapse Disorder to the widespread use of these neonicotinoids. And while it has been debated that the chemicals themselves may not technically be fatal under lab conditions, field studies have shown that they certainly disorient and sicken bees to the extent that they become easy prey to other health threats. 30% of the food we eat is pollinated by bees. Last year, beekeepers reported losses of 40% – 90% of their hives. This syndrome has far reaching consequences to our food supply.
Why does that matter when it comes to our choice of lawn and garden products in the suburbs, and why should our neighborhood be concerned?
Many neighbors keep honey beehives, which are specifically allowed under city ordinance as urban farm animals.
Bees help pollinate our gardens and fruit trees, improving our harvests.
Some species of bees, such as yellow jackets, actually benefit our yards and gardens by preying on beetle and mosquito larvae; they are nature’s pesticide.
Elimination of these chemicals may also reduce the threat of toxin buildup in birds and other animals that might eat sick insects.
Overspray and runoff contaminate our watersheds and potentially find their way into the water supply if not effectively treated.
As you are considering your springtime gardening and lawn work next year, please keep in mind that these chemicals are a very real threat to the overall health of our environment, and look for alternatives to the use of these systemic chemicals. Please join us in campaigning for a reduction and elimination of these products from your local retail stores. For more information on what action you can take, please refer to this beesafe flyer. Thanks for all you do to help make Eiber more sustainable!
What can I do to help?
To download a printable flyer to share with your neighbors, click here.
To encourage your local garden center to eliminate dangerous chemical products from their offering, download our letter here.
Bee Safe - Insecticide Information
Open for information about insecticides. Attached is a list of common home and garden products containing neonicotinoids. To keep your lawn and garden happy, healthy, and teeming with life for pollinators, you should avoid the following products: