A Berryville beekeeper is on a mission to protect bees and other pollinators and he’s hoping to get businesses in Clarke County on board.
Bradly Braithwaite says that some of the biggest threats to native pollinators such as bumble bees, butterflies, birds, and even bats are a loss of habitat and food sources, as well as pesticide-usage.
Although he can’t single handedly stop commercial farmers from using pesticides or developers from changing the landscape, Braithwaite sees a tangible game-changer: food sources.
He’s hoping that by getting businesses to plant wild-flower beds instead of traditional landscaping of hedges or non-pollinator friendly flowers like roses, more pollen will be available to pollinators, thus bolstering the population.
Braithwaite has reached out to several businesses and organizations locally, including the Rosemont Manor, Berryville Baptist Church, and Berryville Graphics, as well as some home owners associations.
“It’s not the norm, but it can really help out [pollinators],” said Braithwaite. “Traditional landscaping doesn’t really have many flowers and if they do, they’re not really the type of flowers that help as much as the wildflowers.”
He says the donation of space, as he calls it, from businesses is a big request so he’s fundraising money to pay for tilling machines, seeds, and the labor necessary to get the wildflower beds started.
Looking for ways you can help pollinators in your own home? Avoid using pesticides when possible and consider planting the following in your garden this spring: cosmos, milkweed, calendula, sunflowers, or clovers.