Saving bees with music

A local nonprofit group is trying to save the bees. Pollinator Friendly Alliance (PFA), organized by Laurie Schneider, held a music festival at Kissing Birch Farm that had music, food trucks, and fun. There was a great turnout for the festival’s second year, and a $12 – $18 entrance fee, but the money that was made from Pollination Music Festival is going towards helping pollinators in our area. PFA’s mission is stated on their website, “To protect and restore pollinators to improve the environment and sustain our food supply.”

Bees and other pollinators are dying off at an alarming rate and have been for the past decade or so. Without bees we would not be able to survive because there would be nothing to pollinate the plants that grow our food. The Pollinator Friendly Alliance are advocates for bettering our community for the bees and other pollinators alike.

Volunteer Terry McDaniel, who has been apart of the Pollinator Friendly Alliance for 5 years says that we can help the bees at our  own homes by, “planting more flowering bushes, herbs, and wildflowers. People could also help by shopping for plants at stores that don’t douse them with neonicotinoids.”

Neonicotinoids are a type of insecticide that is very harmful to bees. By not buying plants that have  been sprayed with neonics can help provide a safer area for pollinators to thrive in. Their website says some easy things we can do in our own yard to help are “Installing native plant pollinator gardens that are free of pesticides. Leave gardens intact until late spring to provide nesting areas.”

Wayne Johnson says “I’ve learned some of the good plants to grow in your perimeter that promote pollination like milkweed.”

PFA is educating people in our community on what to plant, and what to avoid. It is important for our area to know what to put in our gardens and the bees will thank us. McDaniel recommends we substitute flowers like azaleas that are toxic for bees with flowers that attract pollinators such as  foxglove or lilacs that are both safe and beautiful.

We received an unexpected overflowing crowd. All of the support was a pleasant surprise. We have all of these people come together and create a vibe around this cause.”

— Alicia Lebens

McDaniel highly suggests getting involved with PFA and says you can do so by, “Going to the website, donating money, or volunteering. You can also find us on social media such as Twitter or Facebook. If you want to learn more about PFA the Pollination Music Festival is a good place to start, but since it is only one day a year, you’ll have better results by looking online.”

Schneider’s growing organization offers many local opportunities to volunteer. On their website they have listed events and gardens we can help out at. There is no age limit, and it does not cost any money to help.

Schneider told Alicia Lebens in an interview with the Stillwater Gazette, “We received an unexpected overflowing crowd. All of the support was a pleasant surprise. We have all of these people come together and create a vibe around this cause.”

Pollination Music Festival has grown since its first year in 2015. They originally had the event at the Lift Bridge Brewery, but switched to Kissing Birch Farms because it had to fit the growing amount of supporters. Pollination Music Festival was a success, and everyone who attended learned something they can do individually to help this cause.