Have You Heard the Buzz?

The Audubon Society of Rhode Island is lighting up the dome of the State House in black and yellow to look like a giant bumblebee.

Photo courtesy of Michelle Solis/Audubon Society of RI.

Have you heard the buzz? To celebrate National Pollinator Week, the Audubon Society of Rhode Island is lighting up the dome of the State House in black and yellow to look like a giant bumblebee. The Audubon is hoping to raise awareness on the populations of bees, butterflies and other pollinator insects that are steeply declining due to the loss of habitat, pollution, misuse of chemicals, disease and change in climatic patterns.

Over 180,000 different plant species and more than 1,200 crops depend on the pollinators to thrive, which means they support one out of every three bites of food on your plate! Here in Rhode Island, locally grown blueberries, cranberries, pumpkins, squash and other flowers, fruits and vegetables depend on pollinators.

So, how can you help the pollinators? The Audubon Society has compiled a list of ways you can save the bees:

Landscape and garden with native plants that provide food for pollinators.

Suggested native plants that attract bees include aster, black-eyed Susan, lupine, purple coneflower, rhododendron, sunflower, sweet pepperbush and more. Ask your local nursery to help you select native plants for your garden and landscaping.

Keep flowers blooming through spring, summer and fall.

Try to select a wide variety of plants to keep food sources available through the seasons. Don’t forget to plant pollinator-friendly window boxes and containers on decks and patios.

Reduce or eliminate pesticide use.

Remember that pesticides and herbicides used in yards and landscaping to reduce weeds and common pests also kill bees, butterflies and beneficial insects.

Leave dead tree trunks or logs in your landscape whenever possible.

These fallen tree trunks and branches provide homes for wood-nesting bees and beetles.

Support Environmental Conservation

Audubon actively manages habitat on wildlife refuges and develops gardens to encourage pollinator populations.

 

In addition to the lighting from June 18–24, a bee rally will be held in the State House Rotunda on June 19 from 2–4 p.m. There will be a speaking program to kick off the events, display tables in the rotunda area hosted by farmers, bee keepers, gardeners, conservation groups and fun entertainment for the whole family.

 

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