ORIGINAL ARTWORK BY MARABOU THOMAS (WEBSITE)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Florida is home to roughly 315 species of native bees, of which 29 of those are endemic (found only in Florida). Check out FloridasNativeBees.com for more information.
The Audubon Park Main Street District is endeavoring to create the region’s first EcoDistrict. As part of that goal, they are building a Bee Safe Community program where residents pledge not to use neonicotinoid pesticides, which have been linked to large die-offs in the nation’s bee populations. Neonicotinoids (or neonics) are chemicals that can’t be washed off of a plant. They are applied to the seedling and become a part of the plant. They are highly toxic to bees are are found in every sample of dead and dying bees. Although it is difficult to pin Colony Collapse Disorder on one factor, it’s easy to see a correlation between the use of this chemical and the drop in pollinator populations.
A Bee Safe Community requires a minimum of 75 contiguous properties that take the pledge against the use of the neonic pesticides. Look for the following ingredients on the labels of your pesticides, and avoid them. Then send your name and address to [email protected] to add your name to the District’s running map of participating properties. Download a helpful flier HERE.