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How To Save Bees And Other Pollinators From Extinction

Updated on March 26, 2011

There is an alarming decrease in the number of pollinators throughout the world. Pollinators, the best known of which are the bees, are responsible for the production or at least one third of the foods we eat, including fruits, vegetables and even chocolate.The decline in the honeybee population alone is becoming a major concern for the agricultural community.

Although the disappearance of some pollinators, such as bees, is not totally understood, it has been linked to two main factors. The first is the destruction of nesting areas. As land is cleared for homes, shopping centers, golf courses, farms, and roads, masses of nesting habitats for pollinators are permanently destroyed.

A global effort will be necessary to restore much needed pollinators before our food producing plants begin to disappear. Progress is inevitable meaning that land will continue to be cleared at an alarming rate and massive areas of pollinator habitat will disappear.

The second factor contributing to the decline in pollinators is the use of pesticides. In an effort to kill what we consider undesireable insects, the precious pollinators are also being wiped out. What can we, as individuals do?

We can plant a variety of flowers, flowering bushes and trees. Plant flowers that will bloom at different times of the year and plant in masses. Include a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. Even if you do not have a garden, you can add planters to your balcony or build a window box. Choose native plants to attract native species.

Build a bee box. This is a simple project that you can do with your children. A bee box makes a nice gift for children to make for relatives and friends.  Google 'How to build a bee box' and you will come up with a variety of descriptive sites.

Eliminate or at least limit the pesticides that you use. If you must use a pesticide, choose the least toxic one and target only the area of infestation. Remove what pests you can by hand. Tolerate some imperfection.

Do not clear land unless absolutely necessary.  Leave a small portion of your garden wild.  Plant a package of wild flower seeds and you will soon see the area come alive with grateful pollinators.

Buy organic if possible.

Alert your family and friends to the dangers that a decline of pollinators can present. Get them on board with an effort to resolve this growing problem.


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    • billips profile image

      billips 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Brazos county here you come! - you were wise to hang on to that land - I hope you too enjoy the rest of the weekend - B.

    • annaw profile image

      annaw 5 years ago from North Texas

      Indeed. I already have the land down in Brazos county and am just trying to make it happen; hopefully I can begin the transition in the next 2-3 years. Have a great rest of the weekend.

    • billips profile image

      billips 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Hi Annaw - I think going back is a lovely idea - you already know how it's done, so why not - your mother was absolutely right - the sad truth is that people who think they have it all would be totally helpless without their supermarkets, automobiles, and other gadgets - nice to hear from you - B.

    • annaw profile image

      annaw 5 years ago from North Texas

      Change is not always good for certain. The world just keeps on turning whether we are ready for the changes or not. I am ready to move back to the country and try to recapture some of what has been lost to me, like raising my own food; from peanuts to sweet potatoes and all the rest.These times remind me what my mother used to say," there is going to come a time when people are starving in a land of plenty." She had no idea just what we would be going through at every turn.

    • billips profile image

      billips 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Thank you for reading my hub Annaw - I was interested to read about your early experiences - it is amazing to look back and realize how things have changed so drastically - I know some things have improved, but at what price - you really made me think - regards - B.

    • annaw profile image

      annaw 5 years ago from North Texas

      This is a great Hub it was the first one I clicked on to read because it is so relevant to our future in so many ways. I grew up in west Texas and back then there were bee boxes everywhere! Farmers had them posted here and there. I remember living in harmony with the bees once I was taught by my parents how not to get stung. I love honey to this very day and I really miss seeing the bees posted up on the many flowers doing what nature intended. Recently living in the concrete jungle Bees have become aggressive and will almost take your sweet drink from your hands. I have had them get into my drinks within a few seconds of leaving it unattended while outside. They hover around trash cans looking for the sweets we have discarded. I am saddened by the state of nature.I agree with Last heart's analogy...concrete vs. nature.I voted this up, interesting and helpful. Thank you.

      Thank you for following me as well, I am always honored to have a new follower.

    • billips profile image

      billips 6 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks for your kind comments Virginia - I often do the fire-ant-dance when gardening, I really hate to kill anything unless it's absolutely necessary - house flies are in that category for me - I think if we all planted some pollinator-friendly plants, it would go a long way towards solving at least one of the earth's problems - B.

    • Lastheart profile image

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 6 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      These are the effects of concrete vs. nature. Very good advices.

    • VirginiaLynne profile image

      Virginia Kearney 6 years ago from United States

      Hi Billips--I'm from Central Texas too and we have an extensive garden with lots of different plants and mostly no pesticides (we do fire ant control when necessary). We have a ton of bees all the time as well as lots of different types of butterflies and wasps. My husband is a biologist and says we have a lot of solitary bees and wasps which are terrific. You are right that we must all do our best to make our space of earth helpful.

    • cookie512 profile image

      cookie512 6 years ago

      This is great! These creatures are very important! We have to help to save them! please rread, comment and follow my blogs!


    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 6 years ago from California

      This is a very important hub! Bees are declining and it is scary--perhaps a follow up hub on the types of flowers that best attract bees??

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      Great hub! I am sharing with my followers because I know some of them are interested in this very subject. Without pollinators we will not fare very well. This is a very important issue.

    • profile image

      doodlebugs 8 years ago

      This is a growing problem for farmers who are seeing lower crop yields due to fewer pollinators. Great article!

    • marcofratelli profile image

      marcofratelli 8 years ago from Australia

      That's a good point. Most people just think of bees as honey makers rather than pollinators. It's a great cause for concern actually.

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      This is indeed an area of great concern for all of us. I love the idea of building a bee box. Thanks for the suggestion! :D