Bees are great. They make honey for us, they help fill our world with beautiful flowers, and they buzz along happily in our gardens! They’re great, but they’re also super important to us. It’s estimated that 30% of all crops and 90% of all wild plants require either bees or a similar insect to survive.
Which is a problem, because the bees are in danger.
Climate change, deforestation, industrial farming, insecticide use, and a myriad of other human-made factors have caused serious damage to the bee population. Experts have said that as many as 40% of all bee colonies have gone extinct.
The time for change is now, because if we don’t do anything it’s going to affect our food supply. Fortunately there are things we can do.
1) Do not use pesticides in your garden and don’t be so vigilant about pulling weeds.
We all know that pesticides made gardening easier and pests can be a real hassle, but the pesticides that we use also kill bumblebees. They have to land on flowers and draw pollen and if those flowers are filled with poison then we’re looking at a lot of dead bees. As to the weeds, dandelions are bee food. You don’t wanna starve those little guys.
2) Buy local and raw honey from local beekeepers.
A lot of bulk honey that you can buy in grocery stores come from industrial food production plants, which means that the bees are cared for under sterile conditions and cannot effect the environment. Plus local honey will help people with seasonal allergies build up a tolerance!
3) Lawns aren’t the most bee-friendly options for your home.
Lawns are a status symbol of American home life since the 1950s, but they’re also not ecologically wise. Aside from the fact that they use a TREMENDOUS amount of water, they also tend not to have plants that bees need and, if they do, lawns are trimmed and tended to so often that they aren’t a welcome environment for bees.
Instead, why don’t you keep a few sunflowers or other kinds of plants in your yard. And you can also add a little water feature so hardworking bees can get a drink on a hot summers day.
4) Educate yourself and your children on conservation efforts.
There are a lot of great resources out there to help educate yourself on bee preservation, including the New York Bee Sanctuary, which was instrumental in researching this article. There are also some amazing bee documentaries out there. Finally, if you get the urge, you can even start your own bee colony!
For more info, check out our video below.