A Guide to Saving Our Pollinators (It's Not Just the Bees!)

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What would we do without our amazing pollinators? Picture a world with no fruits, flowers, daily cup of java and debatably the worst – no chocolate fix! Bees sure need our help, but they are not the only powerful pollinators.

No sir – many important pollinators are often overlooked including birds, butterflies, beetles, bats, flies and even wasps. And they all play a crucial role in our ecosystem and food supply.

The alarming drop in pollinators worldwide is drawing some much needed attention to our symbiotic friends. Not only are the bees disappearing, but we’re seeing a sharp drop in other vital pollinator species as well.

According to the WWF Mexico, Monarch butterflies are decreasing dramatically. In 2013, monarchs were at a record low with only 60 million butterflies that made the typical yearly migration. In 2014, only 33 million butterflies were found across 1.65 acres.

Lincoln Brower, a professor of biology at Sweet Briar College who has studied the monarch migrations for decades cites three big reasons for the population reduction:

  1. Deforestation in Mexico.
  2. Recent bouts of severe weather (and you know what creates severe weather).
  3. The ungodly increase of herbicide/pesticide-based agriculture (and GMO’s).

We need pollinators for 75% of our food, clothing, and medicine supply. Pollinators are absolutely essential in creating and maintaining healthy habitats and ecosystems that all animals rely on for food and shelter.

As Albert Einstein said, “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.”

It’s scary, but true and we need to talk about it. Every little step we take towards righting our wrongs and changing our habits surrounding and affecting Mother Earth helps.

Good news: there are ways we can make a difference:

Buy local and organic.

Support your local organic farms and join a CSA.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

Every and anything you can.

Compost.

Use this easy guide to get started.

Sign a petition. 

This one banning pesticides is a perfect beginning.

Get involved with the non-GMO project.

Can I get a “Hell NO, GMO!”?

Stop using insecticides and pesticides.

Start small and use homemade pesticides, or if you go big, there are crop rotation methods you may employ. 

Support your local beekeepers.

Buy local raw honey from these peaceful caretakers of our buzzing buddies. Luckily, there's a map for that.

Plant pollinator-friendly plants.

Check out this in-depth guide to pollinator-friendly plants.

Become a beekeeper. 

Hey, you never know where your path may lead! Read this guide to beekeeping 101.

Create a natural habitat garden.

Use this list of native plants in your area from the Native Plant Conservation Campaign.

Support your local gardens. 

There's nothing lovelier than spending the day at a local garden. Look at this map of all your local gardens.

Lobby your local lawmakers. 

Contact your MP, MEP or congress to give them a piece of your mind.

Grow your own food.

Living in an urban environment is no excuse for not growing your own food. You can grow food anywhere … as long as you have a window. Here's how to get started.

 

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Bess O'Connor is the founder of Urban Wellness Magazine. A holistic, natural lifestyle is what she's all about. She has studied in many healing traditions, is a Certified Ayurvedic and Holistic Health Practitioner and worked as a Healing Arts Master for the Chopra Center for 8 years. To her, WELLNESS is short for: Water, Exercise, Love, Light, Nourishment, Energy, Sun & Spirit. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.