Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Xerces Society’s Bring Back the Pollinators Campaign and Bumble Bee Watch

Last year my garden qualified as an official Monarch Waystation. This year I am working to help even more of our pollinator friends. Many pollinator populations are in decline, including bees and monarchs. You can help the Xerces Society’s “Bring Back the Pollinators” campaign by signing their Pollinator Protection Pledge. The Xerces Society is “a nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat.” By signing this pledge you are committing yourself to doing the following things:

1. Grow a variety of bee-friendly flowers that bloom from spring through fall.
2. Protect and provide bee nests and caterpillar host plants.
3. Avoid using pesticides, especially insecticides.
4. Talk to my neighbors about the importance of pollinators and their habitat.

I signed the pledge today. I already do most of these things. The one thing I am lacking in is providing nesting for bees. That is something I will work on this year. 

I also signed up for a Citizen Science project called Bumble Bee Watch, which is a collaborative effort to track and conserve North America’s bumble bees. It’s easy to become involved: just sign up online, then take photos of a bee, upload them, use their key to help identify it, and note the location where you saw the bee. I already take lots of bee photos every year, so now I can use those photos for a good cause. 

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