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Santa Cruz Parent

(A April 2016) BeeSwell-bee-home-3-300x300.jpgAre You a Bee-Friendly Gardener?

Most of us have heard the media buzz regarding the difficulties our honeybee and native pollinators have been facing and as gardeners may be wondering what we can do in our own backyards for these beautiful and essential members of our garden community.

  • Plant bee-friendly plants in your garden.
  • Ask your garden store retailer before you buy:
    "Are your plants treated with neonics?"  
    If the answer is "yes" (or "I don't know"), don't buy! Read more...
  • Create bee-friendly habitat
  • Download a free poster, post them far and wide!
  • Get one to color too!

Click here for the full story...

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Planet Bee

(A Mar 16) PlanetBeeFoundation.jpgAt Planet Bee, we're dedicated to engaging and empowering students of all ages to take action to help struggling pollinator populations. When students see bees up close, curiosity sparks, fear fades, and gardens become ecological playgrounds. Want to help honeybees? We've got you covered.

Everyone can make a difference for bees. We're teaching students and adults the power of individual action, and have some resources listed here. Check it out and get involved!Get Your Hive On

Keeping your own hive is not only a great hobby, but also a way to raise healthy honeybees and ensure that the plants and crops in your surrounding area are being pollinated. The backyard or rooftop beekeeper has a more productive garden as well as the added benefit of harvesting honey in the fall. If you're interested in starting your own hive, you can acquire all of the equipment you need at a low cost from Planet Bee; proceeds go to supporting our programs. Check out our Beekeeping 101 and take the first step to becoming a beekeeper.Plant for Pollinators

Planting a pollinator garden helps honeybees immensely. Bees rely on the nectar and pollen from nearby flowers for their survival; when flowers are scarce, bees can starve. By planting a pollinator garden, you're ensuring that bees have a source of food year round -- just be sure your garden is pesticide free.

Unless you have particular bee allergies, don't be afraid of attracting pollinators to your property. The "bees" that give most people trouble - yellow jackets, wasps and hornets - aren't true bees, they're relatives. They're carnivores, and won't be attracted to your plants.

Want to learn which plants are right for your planting zone, or how to get organic seeds? Check out our Pollinator Garden resource page.

Go Pesticide Free

Pesticides are harmful to humans and worse for bees. The chemicals and pest control treatments used on lawns and gardens weaken bees, and are especially damaging if applied to flowers in full bloom. Research shows that neonicotinoid pesticides linger in the nectar and pollen of flowers, where bees are most likely to come into contact with them. These treatments weaken bee immune systems and make them more susceptible to disease and infestation by pests.

For resources on bee-friendly means of pest control, read our Natural Pest Control guide.


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The Great Pollinator Project
Identifying Where Pollinators Need Help, and Helping!

(A April 2016) GreatSunflowerProject.jpgWelcome to the Great Sunflower Project!

Identifying where Pollinators Need Help.
And Helping!

Join us on National Citizen Science Day - April 16, 2016! We are hoping to get as many gardens as possible taking our Great Pollinator Habitat Challenge!

We are the largest citizen science project focused on pollinators with over 100,000 members. To say thank you to our members for all you have done for pollinators, we have a present for you, Bee Identification Cards! You can download them by logging in and then clicking here. We hope you will use them in your garden this year!

  1. Join our flagship Great Sunflower Project Program. Plant a Lemon Queen variety sunflower and help identify the effects of pesticides on pollinators.
  2. Join our Pollinator Friendly Plants and Places program. Help identify the critical plants that support pollinators and regions where they thrive. Contribute a pollinator count from the plants in your yard or favorite green spaces.
  3. Take the Great Pollinator Habitat Challenge. Learn to evaluate and improve habitat for pollinators. join us now as pollinators are flying and we are hoping to get many fall counts! You can register here. Basic instructions can be found in the Quick start guide. If you are concerned about using neonicotinoid pesticides in your gardens, here is a link to a list of the products that you can buy in many garden shops that contain neonicotinoid pesticides.

As always, thanks for participating!

Santa Cruz, CA
It's important!
April 11, 2016
Be a Bee Friendly Gardener

Planet Bee

The Great Pollinator Project

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