Bee City Hayesville
The “Bee Friendly” Committee is administered by the Clay County Soil and Water Conservation District. It is a non-profit organization. The committee’s mission is to perform educational outreach to the community to raise awareness on the importance of pollinators and to create, promote and expand healthy habitats for pollinators. Hayesville has been recognized and designated as a Bee City by the Clay County Commissioners and the Hayesville City Council.
Facebook: Bee City Hayesville
Insects are Not the Enemy
Of the 4 million insect species, 99% are beneficial as pollinators, recyclers and decomposers, predators to other insects and food sources for other animals. Less than 1% can be some type of negative.
New biological studies indicate that healthy, diverse habitats rich in native plants will keep insect pests under biological control. Beneficial predatory insects – lady beetles, parasitic wasps and flies, praying mantis, predatory mites, etc. –
need populations of insect herbivores (plant eaters) at all stages of their life cycle. Native plants support native insect herbivores. Predator insects then consume those herbivores increasing their numbers. The food web that develops has an equilibrium or balance that keeps all the insect species in check. Without a healthy predatory population, some in- sects can often explode in number and become an issue. The more herbivores a habitat can support – the more predator insects produced. Therefore, to control insect herbivores, you must maintain populations of that herbivore, at a low level if possible, but enough, to support communities of their insect predators.
* Another major benefit of plentiful native plants is that predators have pollen and nectar available as an additional food resource, when there are no pest insects for them to consume. For example, lady beetles, when they emerge in the spring will use flowering plants as their food source. They prefer aphids, but can survive on pollen, until the aphid pest population develops. In organic farming, sunflowers and buckwheat are planted just for the purpose of providing food until the pest numbers rise and then the predator moves to the pest.
Insecticides? Seriously; 95% of pest control can be achieved with a biological approach. Many “soft” techniques and procedures can address the “pest” in your garden or landscape. Gardening with native plants can further eliminate the need for pesticides by developing that healthy food web within a balanced ecosystem. Complex (diverse) habitats contain more insect predators so that no insect population has the upper hand. The balance is natural – little or no spraying is required.
Credits *Kathy Smith, Educator, Clay County Master Gardener Association volunteer
Kim Bailey, Conservationist, Educator, Monarch Whisperer, Milkweed Meadows Farm
Planting for Pollinators
Support your habitat with a rich diversity of native plants that provide blooms from early spring to fall. Insects and plants have an ancient collaboration…”a living relationship”. Native plants provide the nectar and pollen required for pollinators. Many insects use specific plants as host plants during their developmental stages. If the host plant disappears the insect is without life support. Native insects need native plants. Avoid ornamental plants, as they are foreign, and do not make good host plants for supporting the pollinator life cycle or food requirements. Make a difference….choose native plants.
Clay Soil and Water Conservation District
Conservation practices aren’t new; they’ve been around since 1937, when the nation’s 1st soil and water conservation district (SWCD) was founded in North Carolina. Your Clay County SWCD began over 56 years ago and we still offer free technical and educational programs. However today our voluntary, agricultural and community, cost share based programs have many more choices.
We have over 100 best management practices (BMPs) providing some of the best conservation opportunities around. These practices help with nonpoint source pollution problems, water quantity issues, and community conservation needs. Our programs include: Ag Cost Share, Ag Wrap, or Community Conservation Programs depending on the resource problem.
Our BMPs for conservation address: stream protection, livestock watering, Ag roads, storm water management and much more. Your Clay County SWCD also has rental equipment; a No-Till Drill and a Fertilizer/Lime Spreader, which help farmers save energy and money.
Meeting our residents’ needs involves an increased awareness of our environment. We enjoy providing learning opportunities and incorporating conservation education in everything we do. Clay County has been blessed with rich soils and water. Let's work together to protect our resources.
Our educational programs help spread our conservation message with environmental education programs such as: Envirothon Competitions, Ag Breakfasts, Soil & Water Summer Camp, Poster, Essays, & Slide Show Contests, and Conservation Field Days.
Clay County SWCD’s newest educational program is Bee City Hayesville.
This non-profit organization will perform educational outreach to raise awareness on the importance of pollinators and to create, promote and expand healthy habitat for pollinators.
The Clay County SWCD board and staff are dedicated to their conservation mission. Please come by our office at 25 Riverside Circle, Suite 3, Hayesville or give us a call at 828 389-9764.
Sponsors: Clay County Farm Bureau