VDACS urges people to save honey bee population; plant pollinator window box

Credit: Jim, the Photographer/Flickr Commons CC BY 2.0)
Credit: Jim, the Photographer/Flickr Commons CC BY 2.0) (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

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.