Milkweed, lavender help honey bees, butterflies

Diversifying diet a key to healthy bees, butterflies

A hive of honeybees appears on display at the Vermont Beekeeping Supply booth at the annual Vermont Farm Show at the Champlain Valley Expo in Essex Junction, Vt., Jan. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Andy Duback, File)
A hive of honeybees appears on display at the Vermont Beekeeping Supply booth at the annual Vermont Farm Show at the Champlain Valley Expo in Essex Junction, Vt., Jan. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Andy Duback, File)

FAIRVIEW, Ore. (KOIN) — A number of students spent time Monday planting milkweed and lavender at the Salish Pond wetlands to improve the habitat for honeybees and butterflies.

A 25% drop in the honeybee population has been seen in the Pacific Northwest, and experts are concerned with anything above 10%. Oregon State University entomologist Ramesh Sagili said the new plants will help.

“Once bees have a diverse diet, I think they will have a better immune system and be able to take better all these stresses that they are getting,” Sagili said.

This is the first of a 4-year project in Fairview to help bring back the pollinator populations.

Among those planting were Bailey Cooper from Reynolds High School and Roxy Crunchie from Richmond Elementary.

Both said they were concerned about the dwindling honeybee and monarch butterfly populations and they are determined to make a difference.

“If we didn’t have them we wouldn’t have as much food to eat and that wouldn’t be that good,” Crunchie said.

Students planting milkweed, lavender in Fairview to help the honeybees and butterflies, June 1, 2015 (Facebook)
Students planting milkweed, lavender in Fairview to help the honeybees and butterflies, June 1, 2015 (Facebook)

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