It common knowledge now that bees need saving. The industry is in a panic because of the high numbers of colony collapse reported in recent years. We all know how important bees are both in our ecosystem and in our agriculture. We’d be left with uninteresting and unhealthy food if they continue to be threatened. There are a number of ways we humans can help save the bees and we recommend that you pick one or more stated below so that you too can be part of the solution.
As an individual, how can I help save the bees? There are countless ways you can help save the bees but the best answer to this question is to stop using harmful chemicals in your garden or in your farmlands and to plant bee-friendly flowers.
We understand that not all of you have the capacity to start your own hive. We’ve scoured the internet and other resources for ways on how you as an individual can help in saving the bees. Here we included easy ways you can do and items you can buy to help the cause.
Easy ways to save the bees without being a beekeeper
Bees are a major part of our ecosystem. They are responsible for the majority of crop and plant pollination. Certain species thrive and continue to thrive because of them. And most importantly, they are responsible for the pollination of one-third of the mostly eaten crops by humans. It is just right that we give this insect a help in fighting the crisis they are facing now.
Say no to pesticides
It is understandable that you want your lawn and garden to look pristine and well kept but have you considered what the chemicals you are spraying on them do to the bee’s colony? Chemicals in pesticides and herbicides have been known to be one of the causes of the recent decline in the bee population.
Neonicotinoid pesticides are pesticides that affect the bees ability to reproduce, therefore effectively disabling the whole colony from surviving. Watch out for this particular chemical because it has been proven to cause harm and death to bees.
Other contact pesticides also pose a threat to our furry little insects. The way they work is that when these chemicals are sprayed on to your lawn and plants, the bees that land or crawl on the surface of the flower and plants will be exposed to the toxic chemicals in the pesticide.
The powder and dust types of contact pesticides have been found to cause more harm to bees because the powder and dust sticks to the pollen that bees gather. They are then transported into the colony where more damage can be done.
Another type of pesticide, the Systemic, also causes harm to bees. These are usually incorporated into the soil which is then absorbed by seeds and roots of the plants. Once bees gather the nectar from the exposed plants and flowers, they also ingest the harmful chemicals from the pesticides and get poisoned.
Consider switching to all natural and organic counterpart of these chemicals. These alternatives help the bees get a fighting chance now that they are diminishing in numbers.
Start a bee-friendly garden in your yard or in your community park
Plant flowers and plants that are bee friendly. You can do this in your garden or have the whole local community join on the cause. You can plant wildflowers and other flowering plants that bees love in a vacant lot in your area.
You can take this a step further by involving your government in the project. Ask your local authorities if they can help you raise funds for such a cause. You can also include your local beekeeping community in this movement.
Don’t like gardening? Let nature take back your lawn
We know that not all of you are very keen when it comes to gardening. We understand that there are people born with a green thumb. If you are one of the many who prefer just sit back and enjoy then what you can do is to let nature take its natural course in your garden and lawn.
Personally, I am a bit skeptical about this idea because I want my garden to look clean and well kept. But I found a loophole in this tip, I would let a portion of my garden grow wild while I maintain the rest of the space. This way, I’d be helping the bees without making my space look like an overgrown jungle.
Blooming trees are a bees friend too
Plant trees that have blooms in them. Remember that bees are pollinators of apples, avocados, and other fruit-bearing trees. This means that bees also gather nectar from the hundreds of blooms a tree produces each cycle.
If you have the space to plant trees, then do so. If you don’t, look for tree planting projects in your local area and participate in one. You will not be only helping the environment combat the changing climate but also help the bees survive.
Ever heard of “bee condo” or “bee hotel”?
Yes, there is such a thing. If you have a large backyard or garden, you can consider building a bee condo or bee hotel to provide solitary bees like bumblebees, mason bees, and carpenter bees.
70% of bees nest underground, and only 30% live in crevices and hollowed out branches of trees. Which is why it is a great idea to purchase or DIY a bee condo where all the solitary bee species in your area can build their nest. You’ll benefit from them in return as they will pollinate your garden.
Provide a bee watering station
This is a great way to help bees out. You can basically use any shallow container in your home for this one. There is no need to buy a specially designed one. All you have to do is fill the shallow container with water and then put rocks in it so that bees have landing spots when they gather water.
Others would fill a bucket with water and have corks floating on the water to prevent bees from drowning.
Be an ambassador of bees
Participate in your local bee saving community and become an ambassador of bees. Help out by educating your friends and families on the importance of saving the bee species. A good way to start being an ambassador is to ask your friends to donate for the cause instead of buying you a present on your birthday.
Part of the fundraising projects that other save the bees organization do is to sell muffins door to door, bee-inspired merchandise such as t-shirts, necklace, and bracelet.
Got a beekeeper locally? Give them your support!
This is one of the tips that I like. You have two options when it comes to this one, you can either support your local beekeeper by buying raw, organic honey from them or you can sponsor or adopt a hive.
The way the “adopt a hive” works is you will be given a beehive that you will put in your garden or farm. This means that you will be responsible for the maintenance and health of the colony. Some may not want this because this needs time and commitment to work. There is another option you can choose, the “sponsor a hive”.
Sponsor a hive means that you will fund the installation of new hives in your community. This applies to both stock beehives and solitary bee hotels. So if you know that you can’t take on the full responsibility of taking care of a hive, then you can help by sponsoring a new hive.
Go local and organic when buying produce
Supporting natural and organic farming can help in saving the bees because both natural and organic farmers use natural ways to prevent the growth of weeds and to deter pests. This translates to whole farmland that is bee-friendly where wildflowers and uncontaminated plants are available for them to tap into.
The reduction in the use of pesticides and herbicides will also help the bee colonies from dying out. New hive will have a better chance of survival and the existing hives will be offered a healthier choice of food.
Items you can buy to help save the bees as an individual
Now, we realize that the ways mentioned above may not be applicable to people who live in the city. Gardens are not always present in city living individuals, so the following are a list of items you can buy to help the bees in your own way.
Local honey or raw honey from your local beekeeper
If you know a local beekeeper in your area or if you know that the corner store sells locally harvested unprocessed honey then buy those. You’ll help the local beekeeper earn income that will go to supporting his beekeeping business. In addition to just buying the product, you can also spread the word to your friends in the area.
Bee-friendly flowers and plants
We understand that city-living can also mean no garden space, but you can still plant bee-friendly flowers in your apartment. Buy one of those window sill planters and plant either bee-friendly flowers or bee-friendly plants.
T-shirts, Cupcakes, Keychains and other merchandise sold by bee saving organizations
Merchandise that is sold by organizations that are focused on saving bees can be a great way for you to help in saving the bees. Consider buying some of this merchandise in lieu of buying a gift for your friend’s birthday. Your purchase will go into funding research and other programs that the organization is organizing.
During your market days, make sure to swing by the organic station and buy your produce there. Switching to organic veggies and fruits will help the bees because the organic industry employs natural ways of preventing pests and weeds from taking over their farmland. This means that when you people begin to switch to organic, then there will be a reduction in the use of chemical pesticides and herbicides.
Save the bees projects and organizations
The world has become aware of the growing crisis in the bee industry, and many are lending a helping hand. Local communities and even big companies are now recognizing the importance of taking a stand and helping our bee species overcome this troubling time in their life.
You can start small, like maybe within your community if you are really passionate about saving the bees. Here are some save the bee project ideas you may want to explore.
Partnership with the local beekeepers
Partnership with your local beekeeper may involve many things. You can help the beekeeper by being his marketing partner for his honey production. Another option is to ask if your local beekeeper is willing to conduct training for aspiring beekeepers. There are many ways on how you can partner with your local beekeeper. Explore the possibilities and see which one you want to try.
Organize a save a bee community and plant wildflowers in parks
Many communities have already done this kind of project. They’ve delegated a piece of land in their area where they plant bee-friendly plants and flowers. Some even went a step further by constructing bee hotels or placing beehives in the area.
Use an organization to educate others about the bees
The bee saving organization created can also conduct mini-workshops where locals can gain knowledge of the status of the bee population in our world. This is also a great way to attract aspiring beekeepers in your area. Maybe create a team who will teach little kids about the importance of bees.
Involve your community by spreading the word through local papers, fliers, and handouts
Your local media, like the radio or local paper, can be tapped too. You can publish a short article that talks about the importance of bees and how their numbers are dwindling every year. Your radio station can help by asking their listeners to help out in increasing the bee population through the tips that are given previously in this article.
Get a fundraising campaign started
When you partner with a local beekeeper, one project can be a fundraising project where kids can create fliers and banners that promote your cause. You can also go door to door and sell muffins or cookies and have the funds you collect invested in major organizations that help the bees.
Here are a few organizations that are making initiatives towards saving the bees:
- Heifer International
- Texas Beekeepers Association
- Save the Bees
- Friends of honeybees
- Save the Bees: Save the Planet
- The Bee Cause
To sum it all up, there are different ways where you can contribute as an individual to this cause. Saving the bees is important because they are the major pollinators in our ecosystem. Losing them will have a harsh impact not just in our environment but also in our daily lives. And even if you are living in a city, there are ways you can help out. Research bee saving organizations and pick one that you want to join in. It is not too late to help the bee species yet but let us not wait for them to reach a critical level.
Now that you have this information, you are now armed and ready to go out and do some bee saving.