Simple Things You Can Do to Help Save the Bees
There are thousands of different bee species, and many of them are in danger. They are arguably the world’s greatest pollinators, but their populations are dwindling. Some species are even endangered. Thankfully, we can slow down the decline and bring our local bee populations back up. If we all band together, we can save the bees.
Why Are Bees in Trouble?
One of the biggest problems local bees face is the use of pesticides. Over time, these dangerous chemicals have weakened bee immune systems, leaving them susceptible to diseases and parasites. Beekeepers have reported heavy losses in the colonies they tend, both in the winter and the summer. Colony collapse disorder threatens many bee colonies. Another danger to bees is the constant expansion of urban life. Bee habitats are disappearing, meaning they have to go farther to find sources of food. People even move bees around for commercial use, but that can help spread diseases and parasites.
Long story short, bees are in trouble.
How Can We Save the Bees?
Thankfully, there is no reason to lose hope. There are so many things we can do to save the bees. In fact, they do not take much effort. Throw out those ideas that saving the bees should be left to the experts. With a little bit of research, you can be the expert. Take the initiative to save the bees by acting on the list below.
Pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers can be harmful to bees, especially those containing chemicals in the neonicotinoid family. Research ties that chemical family to the rise in Colony Collapse Disorder. In fact, these chemicals can easily get into the pollen of your plants, which bees then take back to their hives. This puts the entire colony in danger. These chemicals can even keep bees away from your plants, leaving your plants less likely to be pollinated.
If you cannot let go of pesticides, at least opt for an organic option. Better yet, use beneficial insects in your garden to keep the pests out. This includes insects like the praying mantis and ladybug.
Become a Beekeeper
If you really want the hands-on experience to save the bees, start up your own beehive. Being a beekeeper helps you learn even more about bees and what they need, and you can adapt their surroundings to help them. Not only will you help bees thrive, but you also get to benefit from their hard labor. You get to collect the raw honey and beeswax, which you can use for yourself, give to family and friends, or sell at your local farmer’s market. You can learn what else is involved in becoming a beekeeper here.
Build Homes for Bees
Did you know that 70 percent of bees live underground, and 30 percent live in holes inside of trees or hollow stems? Well, it’s true! Other than honeybees, bees are solitary creatures and live on their own. This means that they need a place to live. Bumble bees build their nests in undisturbed land, so you can help them by leaving a place in your yard for them. You can also build or buy bee condors, which provides individual little holes for bees to crawl into when they are not busy pollinating your yard.
Create a Bee Bath
Another way to help save the bees is to give them a place to rest. Find a shallow birdbath or even a bowl and add pebbles and rocks to it. When you fill it with water, the rocks should jut out of the water. By doing this, you provide a place for bees to take a break and get a drink. The rocks prevent them from drowning in the water. Just make sure you change the water frequently because it is also a great place for mosquitoes to breed.
Plant Local Vegetation
Probably the best thing you can do to save the bees is to fill your yard with local vegetation. Actually, you do not have to stop with your yard. If you see places in your community or city that are lacking in vegetation, contact your local government to see if you can add something for the bees. Instead of trying to keep your lawn immaculate and free of weeds, let them grow. Dandelions are a great source of food for bees through the early spring to the late fall, which is longer than most other flowers bloom. It is also great to have clover in your lawn
When planting flowers, group them together. Bees like to focus on one group of flowers at a time. Also, you should avoid hybrid flowers and double flowers because they have very little pollen or none at all. Basically, any local wildflowers, as well as shrubs, herbs, and vegetables, provide many sources of food for your local bees.
It is not just flowers that bees want, believe it or not. They also need trees. Trees provide both a place to live for some bee species and a source of food when they bloom in the spring. A single, blooming tree offers hundreds of blossoms for them to feed on, which is harder to achieve with just perennial flowers. Deforestation is also a problem in today’s world, so planting a tree will help you save the bees and the trees.
Sponsor a Hive
Even if you do not want to go so far as starting your own hive, you can sponsor a hive as well. The Honeybee Conservancy is working to install hives in communities across the United States, and every donation counts. It helps people in those communities to learn more about bees and their crucial role in the environment’s well-being. It also creates honey and beeswax that beekeepers can sell. Though you are not directly involved, you can help save the bees by sponsoring a hive.
Support Local Beekeepers and Organic Farmers
Another way to save the bees with your money is to support your local beekeepers and organic farmers. Buying your local beekeeper’s honey shows your support and keeps them in business. Actually, some of their bees might have gotten their pollen from your own yard! This is spectacular for those that have seasonal allergies because raw honey can help lower your symptoms to your local pollen.
By supporting your local organic farms, you show that you appreciate the farmers avoiding using harmful chemicals on their produce. This not only benefits your health, but it keeps the bees healthy too. By supporting organic farms, you support pesticide-free produce, which means you support the bees.
Tell Your Friends
Making your hard a haven for bees is great and will make a difference, but what if your entire neighborhood did the same thing? This is possible if you reach out and tell your family, friends, and neighbors about how they can help save the bees. As you have seen from our list, it really does not take much to make a difference. If we all band together, we can make an even greater difference!
Each of the things we have listed that help save the bees is simple. It does not take much effort or resources either. You can help by adding more vegetation to your yard, donating money, buying local bee products, contacting your local government, and sharing information with your family and friends. Each thing you do will bring us one step closer to bringing our bee populations back to normal and help existing bee colonies to thrive.
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