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TAKE ACTION - HOW YOU CAN HELP
See a list of action steps you can take in your own yard, community and state.
- Stop using pesticides, especially systemic neonicotinoids. They harm pollinators and contaminate groundwater. Read more…
- Use native pesticide-free plants that provide pollen and nectar to support native pollinators. See plant list here...
- Leave gardens intact until late spring. Many native bees overwinter in stalks until May.
- Leave the leaves. Provide nesting areas, such as brush, wood or leaf piles.
- Have a “not so tidy” garden and tolerate some bee “weeds” like dandelions and creeping charlie.
- Accept some plant and insect damage.
- Leave an undisturbed area in your yard with some bare soil. 70% of native bees live in the soil.
- Reduce turf and instead add a bee lawn, pollinator gardens, and prairie. See more here…
- Ask your garden supplier and hardware store to remove systemic insecticides and sell pesticide-free plants. How to ask…
- Make your workplace, worship place, school, or neighborhood pollinator friendly.
- Support the efforts of your local conservation groups to help your community pass a pollinator protection resolution. See more here…
- Develop an Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM) at your workplace, community park, city, or county.
- Ask your legislators to support strong pollinator protections. How to ask… Find your Minnesota legislator here, and your Wisconsin legislator here.
- Support state incentives to farmers that don’t use pesticides.
- Educate yourself about pollinator conservation so you can educate others.
- Instill respect for nature in children. Teach them to love pollinators!
- Purchase and support organic pesticide-free food and products. Get to know your farmer.
- Be a volunteer or sponsor with Pollinator Friendly Alliance.
- Pollinators include wasps. Wasps pollinate milkweed and are invaluable to monarch survival. If you have wasps or hornets in a high traffic area, try non-toxic solutions like food syrup traps.
- A change of philosophy on lawns, gardening and farming are essential to the existence of pollinators. Let’s work alongside in partnership with our pollinators.
Bees and other pollinators are delicate creatures. It doesn’t take much to kill a bee. Loss of habitat, disease, parasites and pesticides have taken their toll on our pollinators. Pollinator habitat on the modern farm has essentially been eliminated with the advent of "Round Up Ready" crops and pollinators don't fare much better in our turf grass dominated modern urban and suburban landscape. Insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides act together to suppress the pollinator immune system, making them more susceptible to disease and mites. Pollinators form the base of the food chain on which we all depend.
Neonicotinoidal systemic insecticides are of particular concern. Systemic insecticides render the entire plant, including pollen and nectar, toxic. A butterfly or moth larvae that feeds on treated plant leaves is poisoned, and the bumblebee collects toxic pollen. The US Environmental Protection Agency approved neonicotinoid use starting in 1991. Since then, we have seen massive declines in pollinator and insect populations across the globe. Beyond insect decline, neonicotinoids are found in the majority of surface waters in the US. Studies clearly indicate that neonicotinoids are decreasing populations of aquatic invertebrates, birds, amphibians, fish and other living things. Nearly 100% of all corn grown in the US is seed treated with neonicotinoids, of which 5% is taken up by the plant and the vast majority being sloughed off into waterways and the atmosphere. Neonicotinoids are also used extensively in the horticulture industry by nurseries and greenhouses, lawn and tree care companies, pest control services, municipalities, and by homeowners. These dangerous chemicals are found in garden centers and hardware stores across the country.
We cannot imagine a world without pollinators.