Hey there, farmily! Have you seen the Cheerios/ wildflower seeds/ honey bee giveaway on your Facebook news feed yet? The gist: Cheerios is partnering with a seed company to give away 500 free wildflower seeds so people can plant them to help the bees. BUT... there are some problems here.
As local beekeepers and raw honey producers, we want our Farmily to know what's up. Here are two quick thoughts about the free seed giveaway:
1. Cheerios have been tested and shown to contain over 1,100 parts per billion of Glyphosate. Glyphosate (commonly sold as RoundUp) is a systemic herbicide made by Monsanto. Monsanto (in our opinion) is pure evil. Although Cheerios is pledging to go GMO-free, the fact remains: it contains the very poison that's killing bees to begin with. Looks as if they're trying to right a wrong here.
2. Problem with ^ that is: wildflowers are region-specific and some are more helpful to bees than others. Giving away seed that may (or may not) grow in our area and may (or most likely not) provide nectar or pollen for bees isn't really doing much to help honey bees.
So skip the free Cheerios seeds. Want to help honey bees in our area? We've consulted with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and have a list of plants that WILL be beneficial to bees in our area. Join us in planting one (two? five? all?) of these, and together we'll help bees thrive in Cass, Bowie, Miller, and surrounding counties!
Here's that list of What To Plant For Bees:
Basil 'African Blue"
Pink Evening Primrose
Blue Beard Spirea
Meyer Lemon Tree
Gregg's mist flower
Blue Mist Flower
Helianthus 'Lemon Queen" Asteraceae
Lyre leaf sage
Nellie Stevens Holly
Hemp Vine (Monarch Vine)
Queen Anne's wreath
Baby Blue Eyes
Need a printable copy of this list to take with you? View or print one here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KGrLtCheUwj7Tn5bTxhr7RkP39EZZkFcmr2nyqKQPPY/edit?usp=sharing
Whew! That's a lot! Do you have any of these plants in your vicinity already? If so, the bees will thank you. Can we work toward growing more of these bee-friendly species in our area? Absolutely. Together we can do so much! Many thanks in advance.
-Brin, Managing Beekeeper, Balm+Honey Farm