Bee populations have been in decline for well over a decade now as the alarming phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) sees honey bees vanish from their hives. But Bay Area parents Chris Burley and Ei Ei Khin have come up with a simple, if ambitious solution to combat this problem: they hope to plant one billion wildflowers. And their rainbow-colored Seedle seed-bombs make it easy for anyone to join in the effort.
Honey bees are vital to US crop production; they are responsible for the pollination of one third of U.S. crop species, which make up a total of 75 percent of all farmed domestic crops. There are several potential causes of CCD, including “a host of new pathogens from deformed wing virus to nosema fungi, new parasites such as Varroa mites, pests like small hive beetles [and] nutrition problems from lack of diversity or availability in pollen and nectar sources,” reports the USDA.
And it’s on that last note that Seedles come in. Made from a mixture of compost, clay, wildflower seeds and natural dyes, the bright little pellets make it easy for anyone to grow wildflowers. As Seedles’ creators explain the seeds “practically grow themselves… All you have to do is throw them and grow them.”
The project started out as a backyard experiment by the couple, who spent 18 months experimenting to create the perfect seed bomb. In March 2014 they launched their project on Kickstarter and after receiving $11,000 in funding, their company was born; Seedles and “Thyme Bombs” are now available on their website. Their blog even contains instructions on how to make your own.
By making it so easy for anyone to help wildflowers pop up in backyards and abandoned lots, Burley and Khin hope to make it easy for kids to become involved in combating CCD. With the use of Seedles, folks young and old alike can easily plant flowers, provide nutrition for honey bees and, in turn, ensure a sustainable food system for their own and future generations.
Images courtesy Seedles