Pledge for Honeybees


by Catherine Haug, February 28, 2012

Perhaps one of the most important things we can do to honor Earth Day (which is coming up on April 22), is a small thing: sign the pledge for honeybees, to save them from Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), and then take the appropriate actions in your yard.

There has been a lot of research about CCD, and a lot of debate as to its cause, whether pesticides or pests (pathogens). But one thing is certain: pesticides play a very important role in CCD.

Sign the Pledge for Honeybees, and see below for more info and links to other articles on bees and CCD.

Take the Pledge

Sign the Pledge for Honeybees. From

“Join the movement! Take the pledge to provide a honey bee haven with access to pesticide-free food, shelter and water. It doesn’t take much space – a few containers of the right kinds of plants tucked into your garden, on a balcony or front stoop, will get you started.”

If you look at the map, you will see that I’ve signed in Bigfork (with the small green marker), and I see others in our valley too. Lets make the Flathead valley the greenest spot on the map!

Four Guiding Principles

The following is from, except where noted:

  1. Protect bees from pesticides. Pesticides kill beneficial insects including pollinators and natural enemies that control common pests like aphids. Certain pesticides, including neonicotinoids, are highly toxic to honey bees in particular. Instead of using pesticides, explore organic ways to grow healthy plants, such as using compost for healthy soil and controlling pests with homemade remedies and bio-controls like ladybugs.
  2. Provide a variety of food for bees. Consider clustered plantings with staggered blooming times so there is food throughout the year and particularly in the late summer and fall. Native plants are always best, and inter-planting and hedgerows provide additional forage on farms.
  3. Provide a year-round, clean source of water for bees. This can be a river, pond, irrigation system, rainwater collection system or small-scale garden water features. Shallow water sources can provide more than enough water for bees, without creating opportunities for mosquitoes to breed. [Cat’s note: water is also important for mason bees, who make their nests from mud.]
  4. Provide shelter for bees. Leave some ground undisturbed and untilled and some dead trees and plants on the property for wild bees to nest in. [Cat’s note: this is not only good for wild honeybees but also our native bumblebees who are also suffering from the toxins in our environment. Bumblebees nest underground, usually under shrubbery. So if you are moving or removing shrubs, be watchful for disturbing their nests.]

Cat’s suggestion of other important things you can do:

  • Put up no-spray signs along your property perimeter, especially where it faces a road or other public thoroughfare, as county and other road maintenance crews often spray for weeds and pests.
  • Provide nest blocks for native mason bees.

Contact the Flathead Beekeepers Club for lots more info, or to join their organization:


Other Articles about Bees & Habitat

ESP Articles:

ESP Files:

Links & External Sites:

=>Native & Wild Bees, including Mason Bees

=>Plantings, including Native


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