Bees are experiencing a drastic drop in population numbers over the last few decades. Mostly due to the lost of habitat, the increasing use of chemicals in industrial farming and of course climate change. When we think of bees we always associate them with honey and those honey producing species are dropping but so are many other species and that is bad news for plants and in turn bad for those relying on plants to propagate. All of the 20,000 species of bees are pollinators and without these little guys we are seeing a drop off in plants thriving in regions that they once flourished.
So how can we help? We have put together some tips that will help to reduce the strain on bees in your area and beyond.
1] GO CHEMICAL FREE
Don't use pesticides in your own garden. The chemicals found in most pesticides and weed killers are harmful to insects and in a lot of cases harmful to you also. Just cut it out and look to natural remedies to rid your plants of pesky pests.
2] BUY LOCAL HONEY
Find producers of honey in your locality or try purchasing raw honey. Most local producers tend to sell pure honey and rely only on naturally occurring populations to make their honey. Lots of big brand and bulk honey is 1) not 100% honey and/or 2) created by shipping populations of bees around large regions to squeeze as much production out of the populations as possible. The latter can often lead to cross population in bee species leading to weaker and more susceptible bee populations.
3] OPT FOR WILD FLOWERS
Lawns are pretty but think of the maintenance required every few days. Is the hassle really worth it? Now imagine a more natural and beautiful alternative. Plant local wild flower seeds and watch as your patch of land becomes a haven for bees and their bug brothers. All sorts of wildlife benefits from a natural environment and BONUS TIME local plant life doesn't require the same amount water that a lawn does during warm weather.
4] PUT OUT SOME WATER
As the Summer approaches the weather begins to get quite hot and just like us bees can struggle in that heat. Remember they are working very hard all the way throughout the day and do tire. Put out a small plate with water and throw a cork or two into it to act as an island for the bees. You have just created a miniature bird bath but even cuter!
5] JUST LET THEM BEE
People associate bees with honey...but also with stings. The fear of being stung often far outweighs the actual chance of that event happening so just relax around bees. If they enter your home, open and window and gently direct them out and on their way. They are not interested in us whatsoever...maybe they know we haven't been great for their survival lately! Just let them go about their business and watch as your locality blossoms year in and year out.