There are a few times in my career when I get to be a part of something that's way bigger than me. Projects that mean more on a global scale where my participation really makes a difference. Being a part of the Honey Nut Cheerios #BringBackTheBees seed campaign was one of those times. The goal of this program was to encourage homeowners to plant more wildflowers, a natural food source for bees. I’m happy to say that the target to send out 35 million free seeds was exceeded…by a HUGE amount! Canadians committed to planting more than 115 million seeds. This blew me away! I’m so proud to be part of a country that understands that the plight of the honey bee affects us all!
Planting wildflowers in our yards is something anyone can do. You can do it on a larger scale, or go small-scale, depending on the space you're working with. Every little bit helps. And the great news is that there's still time to help if you want to make a difference with your own outdoor space.
1. Use up those small spaces! Even if you don’t have a yard, hanging baskets, patio planters, and even a pot on the windowsill can all provide healthy food for your local bee population.
2. Plant flowers that are blue, purple, yellow, or white! Studies show that these are the colours bees are most attracted to. Don’t worry if you went with reds and oranges, they love those too!
3. Native plants are always best. Local bee populations have developed by sourcing food from local flowers. Adding natives into your garden mix are also great for creating a low maintenance space in your backyard...so it’s a win-win!
4. Add more herbs to your patio planters! Who would have thought that bees love some of the same cooking herbs that we do?! Introduce some sage, thyme, and various types of mint to a sunny spot on your balcony.
5. Use Bee-Friendly Bug Control. Look for products that are clearly labeled "bee-friendly" or make your own! My favourite is to put 12 cloves of garlic and 2 litres of water in a clear jar and let it sit in the sun for a few weeks. When ready, it acts as a great deterrent for all kinds of pests.
6. Most important…get those seeds into the ground soon! It doesn’t matter where you are in the country...plant your wildflower seeds soon so they have enough time to grow and bloom! If we can get all 115 million of those seeds sent out by Honey Nut Cheerios into the ground, it would count as 3 plants for every single person in Canada! That’s a lot of bee food!