Leave the Leaves Promo Kit for Affiliates

Credit: Matthew Shepherd

Leave things a little wild in your city or campus this fall! Leaves, hollow and pithy stems, brush piles, dead wood, soil, and flower heads all provide important winter shelter for many invertebrates, including native bees. 

  • Bumble bees queens burrow an inch or two into the earth to hibernate for winter. An extra thick layer of leaves is welcome protection from the elements.
  • Tunnel-nesting solitary bees, such as leafcutter and mason bees, need narrow tunnels or other tiny spaces in dead wood, hollow stems, or brush piles.
  • Red-banded hairstreak butterflies lay their eggs on fallen oak leaves, which become the first food of the caterpillars when they emerge.
  • Luna moth caterpillars spin their cocoons in leaves, which fall as trees shed their foliage and lie hidden on the ground. 
  • Woolly bear caterpillars tuck themselves into leaf piles for protection from cold weather.

There is no “right” way to participate in leave the leaves. You can encourage your community to let leaves rest where they fall, make piles in the back corner of a yard or park, or use them to mulch garden beds. Just avoid shredding the leaves, and keep in mind: if they wait too long to move leaves around, that good habitat may become occupied by their winter residents!

Use the following tools to help inspire your city or campus to #LeavetheLeaves this fall!

Social Media Images (Facebook, X, and Instagram -friendly format):

Bee City USA logo

Bee Campus USA logo

Social Media Text

Short Text #1:

๐Ÿ‚ Do you #leavetheleaves?ย [AFFILIATE NAME] and other @beecityusa and #beecampususa affiliates are asking you to keep leaf litter in your garden or yard to help save the bees. #beecityusa #[your city/campus hashtag]

Short Text #2:

Leaves, stems, and brush piles provides habitat for ๐Ÿ bumble bees, ๐Ÿฆ‹ butterflies, lacewings and ๐Ÿž lady beetles all winter long. Learn more at xerces.org/leave-the-leaves. #leavetheleaves #beecityusa #beecampususa #[your city/campus hashtag]

Short Text #3:

Keeping leaf litter in your yard doesnโ€™t have to be messy โ€“ you can rake leaves into thin piles around trees or into garden beds. ๐Ÿ‚ #leavetheleaves #beecityusa #beecampususa #[your city/campus hashtag]

Long text:

Do you #leavetheleaves? [AFFILIATE NAME] and other @beecityusa and #beecampususa affiliates are asking you to keep leaf litter in your garden or yard to help save the bees.

Leaves provide food and shelter for

๐Ÿ bumble bees
๐Ÿฆ‹ butterflies
๐Ÿž lady beetles

…and so many more beneficial insects that will help control pests and pollinate your garden the following spring.

Keeping leaf litter in your yard doesnโ€™t have to be messy

๐Ÿ‚ rake leaves into thin piles around trees or into garden beds
๐ŸŒปflower stems can be left standing

Together these simple steps can provide winter shelter for insects, seed heads to feed birds, and stems as nest sites for solitary bees. Invite the wild into your backyard!

#leavetheleaves #beecityusa #beecampususa #[your city/campus hashtag]

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