Sunday, April 9, 2017

Celebrate the Earth - Feed the Pollinators!

Hope springs eternal! The warmer-than-average spring weather is addicting and not a guarantee. Recent weather patterns have been quite the topic for weather forecasters, experts in climate change and, well frankly, all of us! Regardless of its longevity, plants are popping, birds are chirping and bees are heading out of their hives to hunt for food. It’s spring in Minnesota and time to begin thinking about activities to enjoy the outdoors and beautify our surroundings.

Earth Day 2017 is Saturday, April 22nd; it calls to remind us about the fragility of nature. How can we help in our own small (and larger collective) ways to maintain the ecosystem in which we live? Here are some tips to help the bees, help the earth and have a great spring.

  • Google the phrase ‘Earth Day activitiesto find a variety of fun, intergenerational projects and ideas to celebrate the day.

  • Create a plan for adding new plants to your garden. Choose plants that bees and pollinators like. Some of the greatest resources on earth are right here in our midst. Check out the U of MN’s Bee Lab website featuring Bees and Flowers to learn more:

Dandelions, clover and creeping charlie - weeds or food?!
These plants provide early nourishment for the bees.
Let the bees feast until other, later spring plants bloom.

  • Do your garden shopping at places that feature native, heirloom, organic and neonic-free plants and seeds, like:
    • May 7 - 28: Mississippi Market Co-op on West 7th Str, St. Paul. This year, they’re featuring a variety of bee, butterfly and monarch pollinator plant packs.

  • Participate in a local community cleanup event - many communities host an annual cleanup day on Earth Day. It’s a great way to meet your neighbors, get outdoors, and help beautify the neighborhood.

  • Purchase foods from local farmers; it creates an added connection to the food on your table and supports their labors of the earth.

Over 30% of the food on our tables is pollinated by bees!

Whatever you do, thank you for thinking about the earth and our precious bee population. Have a great spring!