Chances are if you’re reading this article, you own or have an interest in solitary bees. Cute, charismatic, gentle (no need to worry about being stung!) - what’s not to love? And if you love bees, you likely have an interest in supporting them and making the world a more hospitable place for them. Cue Bee Friendly Gardening.
Bee Friendly Gardening (BFG) is a program administered by Pollinator Partnership - the world’s largest nonprofit dedicated exclusively to the health of pollinating animals. BFG is a membership program that aims to help people play a bigger role in the health of pollinators (such as mason and leafcutter bees) and the planet. By becoming a Bee Friendly Gardening Member, we will support you in your endeavor to preserve and protect pollinator populations by implementing simple, positive, and incremental changes on your property. The criteria for membership are to provide quality habitat in spaces you have influence over by:
1. Planting nectar and pollen providing plants that bloom spring to fall
2. Providing nesting habitat by -
- maintaining natural structure in your landscape via bare ground or dead stems, stumps and snags, and
- installing and maintaining quality artificial nest boxes, such as those sold by Crown Bees
3. Reducing or eliminating the use of pesticides, opting instead for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices where possible
4. Paying an annual $20 membership fee which enables us to sustain the BFG program, provide programmatic materials and support, and raise awareness to encourage others to do similar good work
Upon joining BFG, you have the option to purchase a sign designating your space as a Bee Friendly Garden. This is an important tool to convey to others that your BFG is a carefully designed pollinator haven, and hopefully will serve as an inspiration for them to consider transferring some of these practices into their own spaces. You will receive our monthly newsletter highlighting what other gardeners are doing for pollinators, pollinator-worthy news stories, tips and tricks, and upcoming opportunities and events, and have the opportunity to showcase your own garden/story to other BFG members. You will have access to BFG merchandise through our members-only storefront. And you will have access to members-exclusive BFG community-building groups such as Facebook and iNaturalist.
I would love to invite you to an upcoming webinar focused on installing structures for wildlife (including, but not limited to, artificial bee houses, bat boxes, bird houses, and brush piles) on your property. It will be held Friday March 10 at 6:00 pm central time zone - register here.
As a supporter of Crown Bees, we would love to have you join the Bee Friendly movement! We strongly believe that anyone with influence over a patch of land can make a difference.