What You Can Do To Help Save the Bees at Home June 14 2015, 0 Comments

Our bee populations are in great danger and the problem is increasingly getting worse. Without pollination, plants won't bear fruit. No fruit means no produce for us to eat. This is obviously crucial to our survival. Honey bees, which are the most important insect pollinator, aren't the only pollinators that are suffering, butterflies and other bee species are also being affected. A variety of factors are contributing to the declining health of our pollinators: less landscapes that are ideal for bee populations to survive as more land is being used for farming monocrops which is causing a lack of variety of nutrients for the bees, and the increased use of pesticides, herbicides and insecticides being sprayed on those crops which is infecting the hives, killing off weeds that bees use as food and causing pests and mites to become stronger. When I began reading about and listening to discussions on the bee population's decline, I felt helpless but drawn to help. There are things we can do at home to save the honey bees and other pollinators. I have put together a list below that includes a few simple and inexpensive (some actually save you money!) ways you can help out at home. Implementing just one of the below tips will make a difference! Please do what you can to help!

A wild flower mix that is bee friendly and can help provide food for their hive!

  • Plant a variety of flowering fruits & veggies and maintain them organically (without chemicals)
  • Grow wild flowers - seed packets of bee friendly wild flower mixes (as shown above, purchased from Villagers here in Asheville, NC) are available at most plant stores and greenhouses.
  • Stop chemically treating your lawn! We need to change our perception of what a beautiful lawn looks like. Lawns filled with a mixture of grass and flowering weeds will help provide food for pollinators. Having a green lawn cannot be more important than saving our bees and food supply! Not only are you making a difference in your local bee population's health but you will also be saving money!
  • Buy local organic produce - this will help support farmers who are engaging in responsible growing practices. 
  • Become a bee keeper on a small scale - keep a hive in your backyard. You can save money by collecting your own honey and make a few extra bucks by selling it! 

Two excellent sources of information to get you up to date on this topic are the documentary "More than Honey" and a discussion on NPR's Diane Rehm show titled "Environmental Outlook: New Efforts to Support the Ailing Bee Population". Both can be found online.