Many of our everyday products rely on bees. Due to changing climates and destruction of habitats, these little insects need some extra assistance in order to thrive. We’ll show you how to help bees that live near your home.
It’s not difficult to figure out the correlation between bees and honey, but many people don’t realize the threat to global food security if bees were to disappear. It’s hard to imagine a life without the little black and yellow striped insects buzzing from flower to flower. However, there has been a drastic drop in population: Approximately 25 percent fewer species were found between 2006 and 2015 than before 1990. Bees are considered to be endangered in many spots around the globe. We need to step in and do our part to save them, otherwise we’ll have to live in a world where bees are extinct.
Don’t know where to start? Let’s take a look at a few small ways you can help save the bees.
1. Plant a Bee-Friendly Garden
One of the easiest ways you can help out bees is by planting insect-friendly flowers for bees in your garden. They love a wide variety of blossoms, and it helps to plant perennials that will bloom at different points throughout the year. In addition, consider planting native plants in order to help native species thrive. Not only will you be able to help out these little pollinators, you’ll also be able to enjoy your beautiful garden. For more inspiration, check out: Flowers for Bumblebees: How to Help Endangered Bumblebees
2. Help Protect Bees: Stop Using Pesticides
When we see pests in our gardens, it’s easy to reach for a bottle of chemical-filled sprays to help alleviate the problem. The same goes for trying to get rid of unwanted weeds using herbicides. However, those chemicals end up doing more harm than good. Pesticides containing neonicotinoids are particularly harmful to bees – their central nervous system is affected when they come into contact with these kinds of chemicals.
To keep pests away naturally and help bees, try companion planting. You can read more about this method in this blog.
3. How to Help Bees: Give Them a Home
Did you know that not all bees live in hives? In fact, nearly 14,000 species of bees make their homes underground. You can encourage bees and other important insects to your yard by adding a pollinator house or self-built bug hotel to your garden. This will help provide a safe home to insects like bees who need it.
If you’re an avid gardener and like to prepare your garden for winter in the fall months, considering waiting until spring. Many species of bees rely on the overwinter survival of the queen bee, who often likes to make her winter home in ornaments, grasses, or piles of leaves.
4. Help Bees By Feeding Them
If you’ve ever seen a bee laying on the sidewalk, chances are it’s just taking a rest. Help it along its way by giving it an energy boost. If there’s a flower nearby, try to use that to feed it, as it’s part of their natural diet. However, if you’re in a pinch, you can give them a bit of sugar water. To do this, simply mix some white sugar together with water and place it where the bee can reach it – don’t try force them to take it. It’s important not to leave sugar water out for bees, and to only use it as a last resort to help a tired bee.
5. Quenching Their Thirst
Just like any other insects, bees need water, too. You can help them by adding a water source for them in your outdoor space. If you have a large yard, consider adding a simple DIY bee waterer to a nice shady corner to give the bees a respite from the heat.
6. Support Your Local Beekeepers
No one understands the importance of bees better than beekeepers. Instead of purchasing honey and cosmetics from big grocery stores, keep it local and support beekeepers in your area. You’ll be amazed at the flavors of honey available on a local level from the different plants in your area. You can source local honey from farmers’ markets, or visit an artisan food shop. Not only will many places sell honey, you’re also likely to find beeswax candles and small-batch cosmetics from local beekeepers too.
7. Shop Organic
There are so many reasons why shopping organic is important. We mentioned earlier about the use of pesticides in your own garden, but by purchasing organic products, you’re helping to support that same more bee- and insect-friendly practice on a larger scale. This doesn’t just apply to fruits and vegetables, though it’s a great place to start. Next time you go to purchase clothing, check to see whether or not it’s made with organic cotton.
For inspiration, check out: The 8 Best Organic Clothing Brands for Kids and Ethical Underwear: 6 Sustainable Brands You Can Get Behind
8. Donate to Bee Conservation Efforts
There are so many organizations out there that are dedicated to saving our beloved pollinators. The majority of them are non-profit, and rely on donations in order to carry out their work. Whether you choose to donate on a regular basis or not, every dollar counts. It might be fun to hold a fundraiser like a bake sale or raffle to help save the bees!
To find even more information about how to help bees, check out the following organizations:
9. How to Help Bees Through Education
Start teaching the younger generations about the importance of bees from an early age. Children are our future, so it’s important to give them the proper tools and information to make sustainable decisions. That being said, learning is a lifelong venture, and it’s never too late to learn something new. Partner with conservation organizations to see if they have any programs you can volunteer with to help create the next generation of eco-warriors.
10. Take Political Action to Save The Bees
The unfortunate reality is that as individuals, we can only do so much to help save the bees. The change has to come from large corporations and governmental policies if we have any fighting chance. To help affect large-scale change, write to your local politicians, attend or organize rallies, sign petitions, and use your voice to make a difference. Take the environment into consideration when it’s time to cast your ballot.
- 11 Flowering Bushes and Shrubs to Bring Birds and Insects to Your Garden
- Bee Balm Flowers: How to Plant, Care For, and Use Bee Balm
- Environmental Organizations: 8 NGOs and Non-Profits Worth Supporting
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