Protecting Pollinators: The Key to a Sustainable Future

Learn ways you can easily help pollinators! Together we can support local pollinators, ecosystems and promote wildlife habitat.

At Barr Hill, we strive to be champions of pollinators. Bees and other pollinators are under threat. Present species extinction rates are 100 to 1 000 times higher than normal due to human impacts. 

We think Earth Day is a great reminder to celebrate the incredible diversity of life on our planet and renew our commitment to protecting the beautiful landscape that sustains us. Pollinators are often overlooked but vital to the health of our ecosystem. Pollinators, including insects, birds, bats, butterflies, and more help plants reproduce by carrying pollen from flower to flower, ensuring that fruits, vegetables, and other plants can grow and thrive.

Pollinators play an essential role in our food and beverage systems. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), around 80% of all flowering plants and 35% of the world’s food crops depend at least partially on animal pollinators. One in every three bites of food we take relies on bees and other pollinators. Many fruits, vegetables, nuts, and even things like coffee and chocolate need pollinators to thrive. Without their contributions our plates (and glasses) would look pretty bland.

Despite their importance, pollinators are facing significant threats. Habitat loss, climate change, pesticide use, and disease all take a toll on these critical creatures. To protect pollinators and ensure the health of our ecosystems, we need to take action to support them.

  • Fortunately, there’s many easy ways that individuals and communities can help support pollinators. Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

    1. Plant a pollinator-friendly garden: By planting flowers and other plants that provide nectar and pollen, you can create a welcoming habitat for pollinators. Choose a variety of native plants to your region that bloom at different times throughout the season to provide a steady source of food.
    2. Avoid pesticides: Pesticides can be harmful to pollinators and other beneficial insects. Whenever possible, choose natural pest control methods, such as companion planting or handpicking pests.
    3. Provide nesting sites: Many pollinators, such as solitary bees, nest in the ground or in hollow stems. Leaving some areas of your garden unmulched and providing bundles of hollow stems can create safe nesting sites.
    4. Participate in No Mow or Low Mow May: This grassroots effort led by pollinator organizations helps provide habitat and food sources for native pollinators in your area during early spring while food and resources are still sparse.
    5. Rethink your purchasing habits: You seek organic produce, ethically raised livestock, and avoid fast fashion. But what about your liquor cabinet? Most spirits on the shelf are made from mono-culture commodity grains. These farms are energy intensive, loaded with pesticides and decimate soil health. Over the years we’ve lost the connection from the farm to our spirits, but your choices at the spirit store or bar ripple back to the environment.
    6. Support local conservation efforts: Many organizations are working to protect pollinators and their habitats. Consider donating to or volunteering with a local conservation group.

Here at Barr Hill, we’re currently working with Bee the Change, The Bee Conservancy and the Florida Wildflower Foundation to fund the creation of new pollinator habitat in important communities and corridors. You can also check out the Pollinator Partnership for more ideas!

  • Remember, pollinators need:

    1. Habitat with nectar rich flowers that bloom at different times. Opt for native plants which your local pollinators are adapted for and which are adapted for your local climate.
    2. Places to Nest. Leaving older trees on the ground can help
    3. Access to Water
    4. Fewer or No Pesticides
    5. Our support!

    By taking these simple actions, we can all help support pollinators and ensure the health and resilience of our ecosystems. On this Earth Day, let's celebrate these essential creatures and commit to protecting them for generations to come.

And don’t forget to join us for our annual Bee’s Knees Week at the end of September! This nationwide celebration brings together our community of environmental stewards and cocktail enthusiasts to raise awareness for the importance of pollinators and create new habitat to support their survival!