Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pollinator Week, Pt. 2: Sign, sign, everywhere a sign...

Have you ever been walking (or driving) through your neighborhood and seen signs in people's gardens, but you weren't sure what they meant? Did you ever stop to ask?

I've seen a few of the National Wildlife Federation's "Certified Wildlife Habitat" signs in my own neighborhood, and I also have one myself.
This is a self-certify program, and in order to certify your space, you must do 4 things:
1. Provide food
2. Provide water
3. Provide cover/shelter
4. Provide nesting areas/areas to raise young.

You can do this for any wildlife- squirrels, chipmunks, birds, and of course... bugs and pollinators! For pollinators, you can provide nectar-rich flowers and host plants for food, a puddling area (very shallow dish with water and/or mud) for water, and for most pollinators, shelter doubles as the nesting area- so you can provide a bee house, or leave piles of leaves/sticks, and patches of mulch-free bare ground for bees to make nests.

I've also seen one of these cute ladybug "Pesticide Free Zone" signs in a neighborhood yard (with lovely gardens). I was curious about the sign, so I looked it up, and found "Beyond Pesticides" where you can pledge to keep your lawn and garden pesticide free and order your sign to proudly proclaim your poison-free space! I think what's great about this sign is, if you've got an especially beautiful garden and you display the sign, people are going to notice- and they'll be impressed. "Wow, they didn't need nasty chemicals to make their garden look like that."

Here are a couple of links with more info from "Beyond Pesticides":
And should you choose to take the pledge, here's where you can order your sign (you can choose ladybug or bee):

In connection to "Beyond Pesticides" and helping out bees, here's a link with information about Honeybee Haven:
Similar to the "Beyond Pesticides" and "Certified Wildlife Habitats", there is a pledge along with Honey Bee Haven's "Bee Friendly" sign:
1. Protect bees from pesticides- don't use them!
2. Provide flowers for bees
3. Provide a water source for the bees
4. Provide shelter and cover for bees- such as a beehouse or undisturbed/unmulched ground.

The Pollinator Partnership has a new campaign called "S.H.A.R.E.: Simply Have Areas Reserved for the Environment." You can read about SHARE here:
And when you register your SHARE space, you have the option to order a sign for your area, too. I haven't seen a picture of the sign on their website yet- I think this is a somewhat new initiative and perhaps they haven't uploaded one yet. But I made the donation and ordered mine yesterday- when it comes, I'll post a pic!

The Xerces Society also offers a beautiful and informative "Pollinator Habitat" sign for your garden. The fine print says that you've planted pollinator-friendly plants and kept pesticides out of the area. The sign is part of Xerces Society's "Bring Back the Pollinators!" campaign.

 You can order the Xerces Society's sign here:

They, too, have a 4-step-program, with a slight difference. Their 4 steps are-
1. Provide flowers for pollinators
2. Provide places for pollinators to lay eggs (host plants, bee houses)
3. Don't use pesticides
4. Talk to your friends/family/neighbors about the importance of pollinators end encourage them to join in your efforts (kind of like the goal of this license plate!).
With so many great programs and neat signs out there, it's hard to choose just one. I think having some sort of sign in your front gardens does help promote conversation about pollinator (and other wildlife) conservation, and these are all great causes, too!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


It's here! It's here!
Pollinator week!
So much to do, so much to say.

First of all, of course-- what better time to show your support of pollinators by sending in your application and helping to BEE a part of getting these plates onto Virginia roads!

Do it!
Do it!
Peer pressure! You know you wanna!

Yesterday I attended the Pollinator Partnership's "Pollinator Week Briefing and Break" in DC (and hellooooooooooo Haagen Daaz coffee ice cream!) and learned about their S.H.A.R.E. campaign for the environment! The acronym stands for "Simply Have Areas Reserved for the Environment." What could be simpler than that? A section of your garden, a corner of your lawn, a few potted native plants on your patio- easy, peasy! You can learn more about the program here- and if you've already got a pollinator/bird/wildlife garden, don't forget to click the "register" button and register your landscape spot, so you can monitor and report what you're seeing!

Speaking of monitoring habitats, have you seen the Native Buzz site from the University of Florida?

They're asking anyone who has a bee house/nest site to come on over to their page and register your location. Then as you see different bees and wasps emerging, send them a report on your habitat. The honey bee population is pretty well monitored since beekeepers have to put a whole lot of work into their bees! But the native and solitary bee populations are a little harder to keep up with- so reporting your bees and wasps to the Native Buzz project will help scientists with information on native bee populations. Buzz on over!

What's that? You don't have a bee house? Well, I know just the place where you can get an exhaustively researched and meticulously designed home for li'l native bees! Check out
and you can even order extra refill tubes for when you're so lucky that your whole bee house *actually fills up with bees*! Bees to the brim! The website (and newsletter, if you sign up!) will tell you all about how to take care of your bee-babies and she even has a YouTube channel which makes it look fascinating, yet also very easy to do! :)
(It's hard to find things in life that are both easy and rewarding, no?)

These are just a few things you can do to help out the pollinators; I hope it's useful in helping you find ways to participate in Pollinator Week!

Friday, June 8, 2012

We hit triple digits!!

Yesterday I went running and added a stop by the post office to my loop. Imagine how excited I was when I found a bunch more applications in there- and knew it would be just enough for us to finally hit the big 100!!

On my way home (about a mile), I was thinking about applications... and running... and wondered if there was a way I could combine the two to bring some more attention to the plates. And then I had an idea...

(Check out the new tab, "That Bee's A Runnin' Fool!")