Bees are rapidly declining in numbers, not just honey bees but ALL bees. Everything you enjoy such as fruits and vegetables all need pollinators which is exactly what bees are. They help the plants to reproduce.
It is estimated that around 80% of the crops that we eat need a pollinator such as a bee to thrive. Without them, those crops would die and in turn, you’d starve.
Why exactly are bees declining? There are actually many reasons but some of the biggest include:
- Pollution of water sources
- Soil pollution
- Reduction of wild prairies
- Industrial beekeeping practices
If you want to see in pictures, how you would be affected, check out the following post from Huffpost.
Because of their importance to our food crops it is more crucial than ever to support these little buzzing insects which is why we have put together this list for you today.
1. Start Beekeeping
Beekeeping is by far one of the most powerful ways of helping honey bees by giving the honey bees a home. You can contact your local beekeeping club for more information on getting started and they usually run courses to help new people to take up beekeeping and even help them find the equipment that they need and a colony of bees. You can check out the following links for some great free beehive plans:
2. Plant a Bee Garden
It isn’t difficult to start a bee garden. Simply plant an assortment of herbs and flowers that attract bees. Ideally, you want to be planting native flowers that will bloom at different times of the year. The bees also need somewhere that they can rehydrate which is as simple as putting a shallow container of water in the garden with a few pebbles and twigs for them to land on.
Some plants that you should consider include:
- Bee Balm
3. Stop With the Pesticides and Herbicides
Pesticides and herbicides are very harmful to bees and are implicated in their decline. Using these pesticides in your garden can not only keep bees away, but also endanger their lives. Avoid using any chemical sprays on your plants and yard. There are natural alternatives that you can use that are bee-friendly and you can find many good recipes online. The following link will give you some great recipes to get you started:
4. Let Your Grass Grow
By letting your grass grow longer than usual you can give the bees some shelter and a place to feed. I am not saying that you shouldn’t mow the lawn but maybe have a section of the lawn that you allow to grow longer than the rest.
Your lawn doesn’t have to be manicured and maintained to look like a golf course. That may be the perfect lawn for you but not so much for the bees.
5. Support Your Local Beekeepers
Maybe you are not ready yet to start your own hive but you can still do your part by supporting your local beekeepers. The easiest way to do this is to buy locally-made honey and beeswax products such as soaps, candles, and lotions. Buy local honey and who knows, maybe the bees that made it visited your own yard. If you want to take it a step further, you could consider volunteering or donating to help keep them going.
6. Protect the Swarms
Swarming is a natural process when colonies of honeybees can increase their numbers. When honeybees are swarming they are actually quite gentle and won’t usually become aggressive unless they are disturbed or sprayed with water. If you come across a swarm, contact your local beekeeper who will come and collect the swarm. Just leave them alone and wait for a competent beekeeper to arrive.
7. Help the Exhausted Bees
Many times people seem to think that when they see a bee on the floor that is still, it is dead which in many cases is not true, they are just exhausted. You can help these bees out by giving them a sugar solution (half water, half sugar, that has been thoroughly stirred) on a teaspoon and placing it carefully near their their antennae. This solution will rehydrate the bee and give them much-needed energy when they get tired.