Helping the Bee Population by Planting a Pollinator Plot

We’ve restored 1/4 acre on our farm to include natural habitat for bees through USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

NRCS staff provided financial assistance through EQIP, and also the technical assistance we needed, including, site visits, a planting plan, providing options for obtaining seeds, and completing the final inspection of the successful planting. Technical and financial assistance from agencies such as USDA−NRCS and programs like EQIP work to assist land users in accomplishing their goals.   

With agricultural intensification and urbanization, bees have lost so much of the habitat that they rely on for forage. Pollen and nectar make up 100 percent of these diets.  They are totally dependent on certain types of flowers in order to survive.

The native bee population has been declining over the past four decades, and, since the winter of 2006, the puzzling Colony Collapse Disorder has been causing honeybees to mysteriously vanish.

Originally imported to produce honey, the tiny insects also turned out to be excellent crop pollinators, becoming the foundation of a vital new agricultural industry.

About eighty-five percent of the world’s flowering plants require a pollinator in order to reproduce.

We are doing something for pollinators which are in decline. So, we’re helping a declining species.

The honey bee alone contributes to the production of many billions of dollars’ worth of crops in America every year.

Steve McDaniel, who is a master beekeeper with 40 years’ experience, past president of the Maryland State Beekeepers Association and holds a degree in chemistry from Harvard wrote a very interesting article called “The bees are dying” which we found interesting.  He talks about the effects of neonicotinoids which is a widely used chemical on crops and home gardens. 

Here’s another interesting article on Monsanto. It talks about their weedkillers.

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