Earth Day 2021: Treat Your Bees by Sarah McEachern
Looking for an easy, educational, and FUN activity to do with your kiddo on Earth Day? And most importantly, an activity they willactually enjoy? This year, I decided to collaborate with my six-year-old son to figure out how we can help restore the earth in celebration of Earth Day 2021.
We sat down at the computer and googled "How to celebrate Earth Day". There were a million options, from cleaning up our local neighborhood or beaches to creating a recycling program for our community. After reviewing the various options, my son decided that he wanted to plant flowers to encourage local pollinators to visit our garden!
f1.8 | ISO 100 | 1/6400
We started by making a list of local flowers that are good for both bees and butterflies. Then we set off to our local garden center to buy them. Try to purchase flowers native to your area with high pollen content to attract buzzing friends. While ornamental flowers are beautiful, there isn't a lot of pollen, so they will not be attractive to your local bees.
Now, I don't know about you, but I'm a bit of a control freak... so it was hard for me to watch my son digging his uneven holes in the garden while tossing the dirt all over the place... but I had said he was the boss of this project, so I just bit my tongue and let him take the lead. I picked up my camera to distract myself from his chaos! But, he had so much fun choosing the spots for the flowers, planting them, and watering them that it was worth it. When he finished planting, he sat on the ground, excitedly awaiting the hungry bees! It's still a little cold here in the pacific northwest, so we didn't get any insect visitors, but he still had fun naming his new pollen-filled plants.
Lensbaby Edge 50 | f3.2 | ISO 100 | 1/500
While we were at the garden center, we also picked up some wildflower seeds native to Washington state (they should bloom just in time for the bees and butterflies)! Planting native wildflowers is another way you can help the bees. This, along with using natural pesticides instead of chemical pesticides to preserve natural habitats.
Did you know that marigolds are a natural pesticide that discourages deer and rabbits from eating your garden?
Plus, bees LOVE marigolds!
Copper tape is another green bug control option to deter slugs. If you live in the slug-infested PNW like us, try it! Additionally, you can set out shallow containers with sugar water in them for tired or hungry bees in the summer to drink.
3 Organizations Working To Help The Bee Population In North America
Lensbaby Edge 50 | f3.2 | ISO 100 | 1/1000
Bees are dying at an alarming rate, and since the majority of plants we eat rely on bees for pollination, planting flowers specifically to attract and help bees is a perfect way to celebrate earth day! Plus, your kiddos get to play in the mud and, if you can ignore your need for perfection, it will be a fun activity for everyone involved while actively helping the bees and the earth.
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Sarah McEachern is a true crime addict, Air Force veteran, and lover of all things caffeinated. She currently lives in Washington state and is the proud owner of many Lensbaby lenses.
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