Bringing Back the Bees: How One Bay Area Company is Using Wildflowers to Create a More Sustainable Food System

A pile of colorful Seedles before packaging. Photo: Angela Johnston

A pile of colorful Seedles before packaging. Photo: Angela Johnston

When Daly City residents Chris Burley and Ei Ei Khin had their first child in 2013, they knew they wanted to do something to make the world a better place for their son. They brainstormed different options on how they could help create a more sustainable food system for their child. Burley and Khin tossed around the idea of starting an organic farm or only eating local. Their final decision, Chris said, was actually the simplest – bringing back the declining bee population.

Chris Burley is using Seedles to bring back the bees by planting more wildflowers. Photo: Angela Johnston

“We scoured lots of research for the best ways to do this. A lot people say reduce your pesticides, other people say support sustainable farming, others say to plant a bee-friendly habitat in your yard, and we thought that the one that was the easiest and most successful was just planting wildflowers,” Burley says.

So, he and his wife developed Seedles – small colorful seed balls made out of clay, organic compost, and wildflower seeds, coated with natural pigment dyes, that you can throw anywhere. With the help of some rain, the Seedles make their way into the soil and eventually sprout wildflowers that attract bees.

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