Tomatoes, peppers, raspberries, blueberries, almonds, and thousands of other flowering plants rely on bees, birds, butterflies, bats, and other pollinators to help them reproduce. This interaction between pollinators and plants is a crucial part of the system that gives us the fruits, vegetables, and nuts we would all have a hard time living without.
In fact, more than $200 billion of the global economy can be attributed to pollinators. That’s a huge impact for such tiny creatures that we often swat away like they’re nothing.
If you’re someone who pays attention to current events and news, then, on some level, you’re probably aware of the troubles that honey bees have faced in recent years with Colony Collapse Disorder and other threats to their health from environmental factors.
Luckily, for at least the past three decades, researchers have been studying the various threats to pollinators, and in many cases, they have a pretty good idea of how to support pollinator health.
What it often boils down to is humans simply living in harmony with pollinators, which essentially means introducing or leaving them a bit of their natural habitat to find food, shelter, and water as well as not killing them with incidental exposure to pesticides.
5 Things You Can Do to Support Pollinators
The really neat thing is that supporting pollinator health is something we can all do. Whether you’re a homesteader, a farmer, a city dweller, a suburbanite, or a corporate office manager there’s something you can do to help ensure these tiny creatures continue to thrive. Here are a few of the very simple steps you can take.
- Plant a pollinator-friendly habitat using native plant species
To find out which plants are good for your pollinator garden, check out the regional guides provided by Pollinator Partnership.
- Buy locally produced honey
Purchasing local honey directly supports the beekeepers who are living symbiotically with bees in your area, providing food, shelter, and water in exchange for honey.
- Buy local, organic produce
Organic growers in your area use natural pest control methods to avoid the use of pesticides that kill pollinators and contaminate the produce we eat. Buying locally also supports sustainable agricultural practices and your community’s food security.
- Donate to a bee or pollinator non-profit organization
Choose a non-profit organization that has a good track record of addressing the issues. Here are a few to check out: Pollinator Partnership, The Bee Conservancy, and Honey Bee Health Coalition.
- Learn about pollinator health and share the information with others
Share what you know about the importance of pollinator health and what we can all do to help by sharing information, whether it’s face-to-face or via social media and other online platforms.
Little Shifts Can Make a Big Difference
I will leave you with one final thought. The list of things that you can do to support pollinator health might seem small or trivial, and you might wonder if they really make an impact. They do! Small changes made by many make big shifts happen, especially when it comes to our relationship with the natural world.