5 Ways to Help Bees in Your Community

There are several contributing factors to the disappearance of the bee population, including pesticides, poor nutrition, diseases, and environmental stressors. In 2016, U.S. beekeepers reported that they had lost 33 percent of their colonies. This is an improvement compared to the years prior, but it is still a significant loss. With the weather warming up and plants preparing to bloom, here’s how you can help protect the bees in your community.

Avoid Pesticides That Are Harmful to Bees

Pesticides are used in the majority of commercial farms, even though they are related to several human diseases. Pesticides are also one of the leading factors of colony collapse disorder (CCD), which caused a large decline in the bee population over the last decade. These chemicals weaken the immune system of the bees and make them more susceptible to diseases. This season, avoid using pesticides on your plants to make them a welcome place for bees to thrive.

Cultivate Your Green Thumb

Have plenty of plants in your yard to encourage bee growth. Native wildflowers and flowering shrubs are a great source of food for bees. Other great sources are found in apple, plum, cherry, and pear trees, as well as starting a garden. Having a variety of plants will help your local bees flourish.

Image Source: Pixabay

Limit Lawn Mowing

Though many love the idea of a white, picket fence surrounding a perfectly manicured lawn that is mowed every week, it is hurtful to bees. Many mow their lawn frequently to inhibit the growth of weeds like dandelions—a valuable source of food for bees. A study in Massachusetts found that mowing once every two weeks increase the number of bees in the area by 30 percent. Mowing less means that there’s less work to do each week, and bees are actively being saved.

Leave Out Water

Just like other creatures, bees get thirsty too. They become dehydrated as they keep pollinating throughout the day and need a place to get a drink. To help them, leave out a shallow dish of water for them. Be sure to add pebbles or marbles into it so the bees don’t drown. Change the water often to keep mosquitoes from taking over.

Support Local Farmers and Beekeepers

Another great way to help the bees in your community is to support your local farmers and beekeepers. You can do this by buying organic food at your local farmer’s market since they won’t use the harmful pesticides that contribute to the disappearance of bee colonies. (Some smaller farms still use harmful substances, so be sure to check first!) You can also buy honey from the beekeepers that work so hard to keep their bees safe.

Let’s keep striving to bring the bee population to a stable state. Though it has gotten better in recent years, we cannot stop now. These tips will help us to continue to provide for our community and increase the health of our plants. There is still more work to do, but it won’t be difficult if we all take part.

Image Source: Unsplash

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Lacey Jolley
 

I love exploring, experiencing new places, and eating good food! I'm amazed every day at how well the Earth provides for us, and I want to return the favor. I hope to help others learn how we can make our world a better, cleaner place.

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