Several of the forty six species of North American bumble bees find themselves in peril due to loss of habitat and forage. Like honey bees, they play a fundamental role in the pollination of plants and the production of food. Bumble bees are essential players in a healthy ecosystem.

Plant a bumble bee garden, or dedicate part of the garden space to plants that feed bumble bees through the changing seasons. Providing pollinators with lots of diverse flowers is the most important step we can take.

Feed wild and domestic bees with Bee Garden Blend wildflower seeds. By planting nectar-rich wildflowers including Lance-Leaved Coreopsis and Lewis Flax, we can provide forage for these overlooked insects. 
Try to establish bumble bee colonies in the yard or garden. Bury inverted plant pots, with just the drainage holes above the soil. Bury ceramic teapots, with only the end of the spout sticking out of the soil. These sorts of spaces are perfect for bumble bee nests.
We highly recommend replacing lawns altogether with more sustainable options like water-conscious xeriscaping or planting for wildlife. For homeowners who can't part with their green space, lawn solutions are excellent alternatives to the traditional grasses. Unlike conventional lawn grasses, these form no thatch, so they are not attractive to the European Chafer Beetle — or the birds and mammals that prey on them.
Check out these pollinator-friendly lawn solutions
Bee Turf is a lawn replacement blended from mixed clovers and low-growing wildflowers. Developed by West Coast Seeds in partnership with the City of Richmond, BC, Bee Turf is intended to replace lawn in urban settings, to reduce maintenance costs and increase habitat  for pollinators. 
Xeriscaping allows growers to conserve the water that is proving to be ever more precious each year, and at the same time provide food for threatened pollinators and beauty to areas that may look haggard and dry in a normal season.
West Coast Seeds believes in the need for pollinator conservation, and we’ve chosen the species in this mix for their attractiveness to a wide range of bees.
Brian Campbell is a certified Master Beekeeper and longtime figure at West Coast Seeds. He acts as our Purchasing & Production Coordinator and Quality Assurance Officer.

How can people do their part to help bumble bees?

BC: There are many things combined that are leading to a decline in bumble bees across the world. One of the biggest is loss of habitat. Much of the basis for biodiversity conservation comes down to one very big thing, habitat conservation. As cities expand, industrial levels of agriculture take over rural areas plus deforestation, desertification and all the rest of it there is less and less land for wild animals and plants to live.

The most significant thing we can do is garden for bees. If we want more bees we need more flowers, all kinds of flowers, tall flowers, short flowers, all the colors of the rainbow and every shape imaginable. Remember, bees and flowering plants co-evolved, pollinator diversity and vigour is mirrored by botanical diversity and vigour. Grow native plants and introduced flowers too. Plant trees and shrubs, perennials and annuals, shade loving and plants for sunny spots in the garden.

It doesn’t matter how big your garden is, even a tiny patio with a few pots of flowers can sustain life and be a part of a network of plants and flowers across the city that provides for bumble bees.

We are living in an era of unprecedented change, a time when the very earth we call home is facing tremendous stresses and challenges. We can face these as opportunities to build a better future.

West Coast Seeds has developed several wildflower blends to build a sustainable future and help bumble bees: the Bumble Bee Blend and the Biodiversity Blend. Give one or both a try. You’ll be amazed at the life it attracts to your garden.
Read the full article here.


This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
West Coast Seeds Ltd. · 5300 34B Avenue · Delta, British Columbia V4L 2P1 · Canada