RICHMOND (WSLS 10) - The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is urging consumers to help restore honey bee populations by planting a pollinator window box.
"We are experiencing about a 30 percent loss of hives per year," explained Keith Tignor, State Apiarist at VDACS, "and we are tackling the problem in a variety of ways. One way is to encourage people to plant pollinator gardens or pollinator window boxes."
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has provided tips on creating a window box that works for apartments, homes and farms. The tips will help determine which plants provide pollinator forage based on their zip code.
Some tips include:
- Be patient - start small. You can expand over time.
- Plant native species.
- Be showy - plant for blossoms in spring, summer and fall.
- Be diverse - include an assortment of sizes, shapes, colors, heights and growth patterns.
- Be careful with pesticides - check the label to make sure any pesticides you use do not harm bees.
- Be more aware - observe your garden and its visitors. Educate others about the importance of pollinators and inspire them to plant for pollinators.