Most of us remember our last encounter with a bee. Maybe you can recall the pain of being stung or the effort you made to avoid the furry, flying insects. Today, people and corporations around the world aren’t dodging bees but are instead inviting them onto their property for compelling reasons.
More than 75% of plants on earth require the help of a pollinator, such as a bee, butterfly or bat, to reproduce. Some experts estimate that these pollinators are responsible for one in every three bites of food humans eat. Unfortunately, many pollinators, especially bees, are in decline, which is threatening food production and other critical human needs.
Beth Robertson-Martin and General Mills are working to protect pollinators—and our food supply.
By Jane Black
One June day in 2014, Beth Robertson-Martin found herself standing on a dirt road dividing two California tomato fields. On one side sat a farm that was nothing more than a 300-acre carpet of dried-out dirt. "It looked like a scene from Mad Max," she remembers. "Everything was dead." On the other side was a 6-foot-tall hedgerow, a tangle of white-blossomed milkweed, sunflowers and elderberry bushes that General Mills had planted alongside the tomatoes to create a habitat for bees, butterflies and other pollinators.
Did you know that bee extinction could end life on earth? Without pollination from bees, the world’s food production would be completely compromised and negatively impact the ecosystem, agriculture and food production for humans.
Pipeline restoration work creates new habitat for bees, butterflies
Tom Hess has worked with many companies during his 28-year career as an environmental inspector.
In many cases, Hess has experienced clients who tolerate his environmental recommendations, or do only what’s required — often with pressure.
Thus, Hess wasn’t sure what to expect when he proposed spending extra money to restore construction areas on a major natural gas pipeline project for Michigan-based Consumers Energy. He suggested using seed mix containing native grasses and wildflowers to attract bees, butterflies and other pollinators losing habitat across the country.
by Tim Martin, Vice President and General Manager, Ortho
More and more, gardeners want to know how they can protect their roses, tomatoes and other plants from harmful insects while also watching out for bees and other beneficial pollinators. I get questions like these all the time:
“I enjoy growing roses, but I don’t want to hurt bees.”
“I love showing off my garden to my neighbors, friends and family. How can I do what I love without harming the environment?”