If you live in or near Austin, The Tour de Hives will be held this coming Saturday, August 15. The tour of local bee yards is in celebration of National Honey Bee Day and also a fundraiser for the Travis County Beekeepers Association, a nonprofit organization committed to promotion of and education about honeybees. Check out the links for more information. If you live elsewhere, there are activities planned nation-wide–check out your local gardening calendars and/or beekeeping societies for activities and tours.
Honeybees and all other pollinators need us and we need them–our survival depends on their survival. There are simple things that gardeners/homeowners can do to help declining pollinators, birds, and other wildlife:
–Remove sterile monoculture turf and replace with native perennials, shrubs and trees. You’ll find the gardening work easier, less expensive, more interesting and beautiful.
–Plant with intention, for wildlife and/or pollinators–after all, that’s who plants were invented for.
–If native plants aren’t readily available in local nurseries, choose pollinator plants that are not invasive to wild areas. Additionally, growing plants from seeds is often easy and rewarding.
–Don’t use pesticides or herbicides–those products are unnecessary and disrupt the balance that exists in the natural world. Using native plants and wildlife gardening methods decreases harmful insect and plant disease infestations.
–Do your part to heal the world, one wildlife habitat at a time.
While honeybees are grand (aren’t my girls just lovely?), a more important group of pollinators are the unappreciated but vital-to-the-survival-of-everything, native bees. There are 20,000 identified native bee species worldwide, 4,000 of which live in North America, and over 300 known species in Texas. Here are a few of the many which visit my gardens:
Plant for wildlife, plant for life!