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Eric Vinje

Hi Ranae –

Crop pollinators like bees have been decimated in recent years, but home gardeners are helping their populations stabilize. Below we offer several tips to improve crop pollination at home.

1.) Plant nectar-rich flowers that attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators to your garden. We offer several wildflower mixes that are specifically designed for this purpose.

2.) Learn how to hand pollinate plants in the vegetable garden.

3.) Attach Honey Bee Attractant Lures to any tree or plant in your garden. Hang one lure per 200 square feet at the start of bloom. Replace lures every 2-3 weeks. Place out of reach of children and pets.

4.) Apply Bee Scent in the early morning when pollinators are active. Plan your first treatment at early bloom (5 to 30%). A second application 5 to 8 days later (70-100% bloom) is recommended. Studies show a 59% increase in fruit set while using this pheromone-based liquid formulation.

5.) Provide water. If you have a stream or small pond in the area you’re in good shape. If not, a birdbath or shallow pan can hold several days’ worth of water. Place small rocks in the water to give your pollinators a place to rest.

6.) Purchase Bumble Bee Hives. Some hives, the Excel and Start-Up, are for indoor use only. Our QUAD unit, four hives in one box, is for outdoor use. One QUAD hive will pollinate two acres. Please check back for pricing.

7.) Stop using toxic pesticides. As organic gardeners, we’re all doing something to save the pollinators. (Even when applying OMRI listed pesticides, always consider the pollinators it might affect.)

Happy gardening!