BEEvesting is an all-volunteer organization whose mission is to support local agriculture by promoting pollinator health. Our founding partners, 21 Acres, Sammamish Valley Alliance, the Sammamish Valley Grange, and Coastal Community Bank are BEEvesting in our community by supporting this mission.
Each Spring, the BEEvesting team works with Rent Mason Bees to provide local farmers with native pollinators in an effort to improve the crop’s yield.
We also collaborate with community and local organizations to increase the awareness of small farms and to encourage community engagement by providing guidance in building healthy habitat for the pollinators that make the farmer’s job possible.
Read more about Renting Mason Bees
One of the keys to pollinator health is an abundance and diversity of plants for foraging and nesting.
BEEvesting is excited to announce that we were recently awarded a grant by King County’s 2020 Community Service Areas Grant Program to create a pollinator garden that will provide inspiration to home gardeners and demonstrate to the local community what types of plants can be used to provide pollen, nectar, and nesting spaces for native bees.
We hope that this will encourage more people to invest in the health of pollinators by incorporating pollinator friendly plants into their landscapes.
Read more about BEEvesting Pollinator Gardening
Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at 7 PM – 8 PM
Want to get a buzz on this year in your garden, landscape or small farm? Yes, we’re talking bees and pollinators! Are you curious about different types of bees? Are you unsure about what’s best to plant to create a habitat and attract pollinators? Join us Wednesday, March 4 th, 7 p.m. for “Create a Buzz,” a free program presented by Sammamish Valley Grange at the Grange Hall in Woodinville. Come find out what tools are in place to explore ‘beehavior’ in our community. And, there can’t be a discussion about bees and pollinators without something sweet, so come enjoy a honey-tasting too!
Pollinators are organisms that carry pollen from one flower to another so that plants can exchange genetic information. Plant reproduction results in seeds, fruits, and vegetables. North American pollinators include bees, wasps, flies, moths, beetles, butterflies, and birds.
Pollinators are responsible for 1 of every 3 bites of food we eat.
The food crops that pollinators make possible are also the healthiest: fruits, vegetables, berries, and seeds high in essential vitamins and minerals.
Even milk and meat rely on insect pollination: alfalfa and clover which are pollinated by bees are two nutritionally important crops for grazing livestock.
Here are just a few examples of pollinators native to the Pacific Northwest:
*Honey Bees are not native to North America but we’ve adopted the species and beekeepers throughout the country maintain and care for honeybees. The honeybee social structure is fascinating and they provide us with the added bonus of honey!
In urban areas: Pollinators, like many animal species, suffer from habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation due to urban development.
In rural areas: Industrial practices such as monocrops and the use of pesticides decrease the amount of healthy habitat available to pollinators.
Overall: Climate change and the mismatch of bloom time.
Rethink weeds. Many weeds are important to pollinators and wild areas adjacent to crops & other flowers increases the likelihood of bees visiting the crops.
You can easily feed the bees by learning to embrace clover and dandelions in your lawn and letting fireweed grow freely.
Native Plants for Native Bees. If you don’t have natural green space, you can landscape with native plants like Douglas Aster, Oregon Grape, Evergreen Huckleberry, or Common Camas.
Plant an Herb Garden. If you’re challenged for space, a container herb garden is the answer. Bees love the tiny flowers of most herbs and you’ll love the fresh spices for your kitchen, such as:
Lavender • Chives • Borage • Mint • Sage • Oregano • Thyme • Rosemary • Hyssop • Marjoram • Basil • Beebalm
Provide Safe Nesting Habitat. Pollinators need safe places to rest, lay eggs, and overwinter. For many insect pollinators this means exposed, undisturbed dirt. Up to 70% of native bees nest in the ground.
Mulch Carefully. Some of the smallest bees nest in holes in bare earth and could not penetrate even an inch of woody mulch.
If you must mulch, consider leaf litter instead of chipped wood.
Leave plants with hollow stems (raspberries, black berries, elderberries, hydrangeas) when they die for the season so their stems can provide nests for cavity-nesting bees.
Plant a Log. Cavity-nesting bees also like beetle holes or woodpecker holes in wood. None of that handy? Pick up a large piece of driftwood from the beach and drill quarter-inch holes into it before setting it out in your yard.
Pesticides don’t distinguish between good bugs and bad bugs. Pesticides also persisting in the environment. That means they don’t stay where they are applied, and they get into the soil and water supply, endangering human health.
But there is good news…
Many insects have natural predators, some of which are pollinators themselves!
For instance, ladybugs eat aphids. Providing pollinator-friendly plants will draw in these natural predators. If all else fails, some organic applications, such as neem oil, if applied correctly, can spare pollinators while treating for pests.
Tell your friends and neighbors about what you’re doing and why.
Follow BEEvesting on Facebook, Instagram, or sign up for our email newsletter to learn more ways you can BEEvest in your local pollinators: