What’s the Buzz About? Bees and other pollinators play an important role within our ecosystem. They are responsible for pollinating more than 16 percent of the flowering plant species, including those found in yards, landscapes, and parks in our communities across the country.

Bees and Pesticides

Bee health is a complex issue. Research points to multiple factors affecting pollinators, including pests like Varroa mites, microbial diseases, nutrition problems, bee management practices, and climate change. It’s essential to investigate and understand the many factors contributing to bee health, and take action to make a difference in promoting pollinator health.

Make a positive impact on bee health. One way we can promote bee health is by creating an inviting habitat with an abundant source of food to ensure bees can meet their nutritional needs to thrive.

You can help ensure bees and other pollinators have enough sources of food by contributing to:

  • Habitat – Pollinators need healthy, sustainable places to live and enough eat good food to eat and water to drink.
    • Create a bee hotel or nest box and a water feeder with a wet surface made of sand, soil or brick to contribute to sustaining thriving habitats.
    • Increase flower space and plant species by planting bee alternative, nectar rich gardens, fruit-bearing trees, hedgerows, and flowering shrubs.
    • Focus on planting blue, yellow, or bright white flowers, as these are the most attractive to pollinators.
    • Increase nectar and pollen sources in your yard.
  • Nutrition – Good nutrition protects and promotes pollinator health.
    • A balanced bee diet includes nectar and pollen, which help bees and other pollinators maintain a balanced diet needed to survive and thrive. Planting various pollinator-attractive plants gives bees an option to choose from varying flower shapes and continuous blooms, which contributes to the quality and quantity of nectar and pollen sources.
    • Check with your extension agent or retailer to learn about plants are available in your area that are good sources of pollen and nectar.
  • Community efforts – Talk to your community leaders about establishing pollinator habitats in publically-managed spaces, like easements and rights-of-way.
    • Education and collaboration are key to promoting pollinator health in our neighborhoods and communities.
    • Use lawn and garden insecticides properly.
    • Read and follow all label directions before applying these products.

Learn more about how you can help bees and other pollinators and get involved through our Bee Responsible campaign.