Bees are disappearing rapidly. Not just the Honey Bees (who make the delicious honey) but all the bees!
Most of those bees are pollinators, which means they help plants to reproduce. So without bees, no plant babies. And who are the plants babies? The fruits and the veggies we eat every day. From apples to strawberries, from coffee to chocolate, from almonds to tomatoes, all those plants need pollinators, bees. It is estimated that 30% of the world crops (and 90% of the wild plants!) need an insect like a bee to thrive. Without them, crops would die and the world will starve.
There are many reasons all those bees are disappearing. Insecticides, pollution of rivers and water sources, pollution of the soil which contaminates plants (like Roundup), extreme climates, reduction of wild prairies, mono-crop culture, the extension of lawns, industrial beekeeping practices, etc. The list is sadly too long; bees are becoming weaker and die off faster. The result? 40% of bee colonies died last year alone.
Here are some easy ways we can help out!
Pick the right plants
You don’t need an acre of land to help the bees! Simply putting a plant box of bee friendly flowers on your porch, or planting a small amount in the corner of your garden. These small things can help the bees immensely!
Plant your garden with native and bee friendly plants. They provide great sources of nectar and pollen (both food for the bees and butterflies). It’s important for bees, as it is for us, to have a diverse and regular food supply.
Blue, purple, white and yellow-flowering plants are their favourites. They can't see the colour red – it appears as black – but reddish wavelengths such as orange can be seen.
Some great plants to choose are –
· Dandelions (don’t pick these wonderful weeds out of your grass!)
Some bees – mainly honey bees -- need water to drink (most native bees get enough water from the nectar they drink), so creating a water source is a good way to help bees remain longer in your yard.
Place the water source close to your bee-friendly plants by putting out a shallow bird bath with rocks for the bees to land on, or a shallow dish with some pebbles, marbles, sea glass or cork tops.
You’ll often see other wildlife enjoying the water too; just make sure to change it daily if possible.
Don't use Pesticides
Do not use pesticides, fungicides or herbicides on plants or in your garden. Plants get contaminated and the product will likely reach the bees and kill them. Make sure the plants you buy are not pre-treated with neonics pesticides!
It’s a good idea to plant things that naturally repel pests, such as garlic for aphids and basil for tomatoes—these are good strategies to reduce chemical needs. Maintaining healthy soil to keep plants' immune systems strong can also help.
Check out this list of substitutes for pesticides!
Let us know!
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