Helping the bees means helping all of humanity and you have this city in Iowa to thank.

When we think of bees, we normally think of their stings, making them something we really don't want around. While that is understandable, we must realize the hugely important role bees play in our world. We wouldn't survive without our trusty pollinators. The global food supply would dwindle.

It's no new news that our bees are in trouble. They've even been added to the endangered list and it's no small thing. But there is something that can be done and we have Cedar Rapids, Iowa to thank for their innovative and progressive action.

According to,

"The 1,000 Acre Pollinator Initiative grew out of a partnership with the Monarch Research Project(MRP), whose goal is to restore monarch butterfly populations. It was Cedar Rapids Park Superintendent Daniel Gibbins who proposed converting 1,000 acres into pollinator habitat over five years. So far, the project has secured $180,000 in funding from the state and the MRP."

Daniel Gibbins is kind of a hero to me and he doesn't know it. To have the realization is one thing. To take action to help solve the problem, is another.  The city of Cedar Rapids is really lucky to have him on their team. And we, the eaters and users of this land, are lucky to have him planting so many acres of wildflowers, native prairie grasses and bee/butterfly food.

My favorite quote from Daniel:

"With the agricultural boom around 100 years ago, about 99.9 percent of all the native habitat of Iowa has been lost," says Gibbins, who is spearheading the project. "When you convert it back to what was originally native Iowa, you're going to help a lot more than just native pollinators. You're helping birds, amphibians, reptiles, mammals—everything that's native here relies on native vegetation."

There are things that you can do to help. You can also plant similar gardens at your home, get your friends, family and co-workers involved, or even approach your city, village or municipality about ways to help get bees off the endangered list.  I know I'll start in my own backyard as soon as Spring hits.