New Year’s Resolution: Bea asks you to do three things for the bees in 2016
Every year, millions of honey and native bees and untold number of other insect pollinators are killed by pesticides used on seeds for corn, soybeans, sunflowers, fruits and other crops.
Hi, I’m Friends of the Earth Canada’s CEO, Bea Olivastri, and I’m asking you to make a New Year’s resolution to do three things for the bees this year. You can:
- Resolve to plant a bee-friendly garden this spring – think of your garden as a Bed and Breakfast – a Bee & Bee – for pollinators, providing food, water and accommodation.
- Resolve to influence your garden centre to sell only bee-safe flowering plants and seeds.
- Resolve to help change pesticides regulations.
Every day, I’m asked by people what they can do to save the bees. What better time to think about what you can do than at New Year’s resolution time? It’s simple and fun to grow a Bee & Bee garden with safe plants, water and accommodation for bees. To make sure bee-safe plants are available come spring time, give your favourite garden centre a heads up that you will only buy plants and seeds free of neonicotinoids and other systemic pesticides. And, sign up to receive Friends of the Earth’s e-newsletter to know when to raise your voice to get proper regulation of pesticides.
Honey bees are the most well-known victims of neonicotinoid pesticides, but there are 800 other species of wild, native bees and numerous other pollinating insects suffering from neonic-exposure.
Think about building your garden like a bed and breakfast. Pollinators like gardens with seasonal menus – different flowers blooming through spring, summer and fall, giving them plenty of food, water and accommodation. In the coming weeks, I’ll be publishing lists of native and non-native plants that you can use to create your Bee & Bee garden.
Friends of the Earth’s Bee Cause campaign has had great success convincing garden centres like Home Depot to phase out plants treated with neonicotinoids and is stilling working on other garden centres but there is nothing stronger than a customer in the store politely saying you will only buy a plant that is neonic-free. If your post-holiday shopping includes a visit to a garden centre, this is the best time to give them the heads-up. Now is the time that garden centres order plants they will sell you in the spring.
Canadians must take personal action because the regulatory system that approves pesticides in Canada is flawed. The regulators have grown too close to the pesticide manufacturers and they use an out-of-date scientific approach. So, I hope you’ll agree to write one letter or email in 2016 to support our campaign to change how pesticides are regulated. Sign up to receive Friends of the Earth’s e-newsletter so you will know when to send your letter or email.
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a copy of our Create your own Bee & Bee How to Guide.