You’ve heard the spiel before – bees are an essential part of our ecosystem. You’ve probably seen the campaigns from companies like General Mills (via Cheerios) to Save The Bees.
Honeybees are essential to healthy crops, and their rapid decline threatens global food security. They provide about 80% of pollination globally, so if they die off (which they are at an extremely high rate), a lot of our food sources will also cease to exist or be less plentiful than we need to sustain the population. Human interference has led to two of the biggest factors influencing their extinction: pesticides and habitat loss. It’s up to us to help secure their future! Here’s some ways that you can help our honeybees:
Plant a Bee Garden
Plants that are rich in pollen and nectar are perfect for honeybees! They are attracted by colours and scents, so vibrant and fragrant flowers like honeysuckle, goldenrod, and lavender are fantastic for any garden. You don’t need much space either – window boxes, flowerpots and planters are all sufficient. If you don’t have enough room for a full garden, you can always look for community garden spaces as well.
Pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, and neonicotinoids are not good for their systems, so moving towards organic and natural solutions will help to protect the bees. Compost can help soil health, and other types of insects like ladybugs can help to keep the pests away without pesticide.
Provide Trees for Bees
Trees are essential habitat for lots of bees, and a great source of hundreds to thousands of blossoms for them to feed on. Helping to take care of the trees in your area, and planting new trees, shrubs and bushes can help to give lots of nourishment.
Build a Bee Bath
Just like people, bees also need access to clean drinking water in safe spaces. Fill a shallow bird bath or bowl with clean water and add pebbles that break the water’s surface. This gives them the perfect perch so that they can get a good drink.
Support Local Beekeepers and Organizations
Sponsor hives or donate to programs that help local bee initiatives. Not sure who to talk to? Reach out to organizations like the Alberta Beekeepers Commission and they can help connect you.
Help to Educate Younger Generations
Getting kids learning and excited about protecting honeybees is a great way to seed them for future growth and sustainability. There are lots of free resources including guides, lessons and activities to help kids understand the role that bees play in our ecosystem, and what they can do to protect the future.