How to Help Protect Honeybees
How to Help Protect Honeybees
It’s probably time to have a conversation about the birds and the bees.
Well, maybe just the bees.
And yes, we mean actual bees.
As an eco-friendly pet product business, we are big fans of bees and the role they play in our lives. Protecting honeybees and encouraging people to create bee-friendly environments or even become beekeepers themselves is an important part of preserving our earth. In this post we will share honeybee basics, how to “bee” friendly in your own backyard, and why it is important to support local beekeepers.
In another brief flashback to biology class, bees and other pollinators are critical to life on earth. Pollinators help carry pollen from one part of the flower to the other so it can be fertilized. In fact, according to the Planet Bee Foundation, 90% of plant species need bees and other pollinators to reproduce. In fact, the Planet Bee Foundation has a long list of reasons that pollinators are essential to our life, including producing 1/3 of our food, providing half of the world’s raw materials, prevent soil erosion, and produce oxygen.
Bee populations have been in danger due to several threats. According to Pollinator Partnership, mites, microscopic fungi, viruses, and bacterial diseases have all threatened bee colonies. Pesticides, loss of their natural habitat, and mismanagement of honeybee hives are man-made problems affecting bee survival.
Three Ways to Bee Friendly at Home
The good news is that it is simple to life a bee-friendly lifestyle. Here are some ideas for you to consider implementing in your own yard and life.
Plant an Organic, Bee Friendly Garden
Not all flowers are as appealing to bees as others. The first thing to look for when planning your bee friendly garden is to avoid plants with Neonicotinoids. This can be a challenge, and you may need to search for pesticide-free nurseries to source plants for your garden.
When it comes to flowers that bees like, Garden Design suggests Bee Balm, Blue Globe Allium, Oriental Poppies, Lavendar, and Sunflowers among others. Beverly Bees suggests planting one square yard of the same type of plant together so that bees have a better chance of finding your garden. You can also plant herbs that serve double duty in making bees happy and being useful in your own cooking. High Country Gardens suggests basil, chives, oregano, sage, and thyme among others.
Add Bee Baths Around Your Yard
Bees need fresh, clean water just like any other living creature. Although we recently blogged about the importance of clean water and hydration for dogs, most of us do not think about where bees or other insects get their water.
You can create bee baths around your yard. All you need to do is take a birdbath or a small bowl, add some stones or rocks, and fill it with clean fresh water. Make sure you leave the rocks partially exposed, as the bees will land on them so that they can get a drink. You can create a simple bee bath or find some beautiful, creative ideas on Pinterest. Remember to change your water daily, especially so that your bee bath does not turn into a mosquito haven.
Call a Beekeeper to Relocate Unwanted Swarms or Hives
Attracting occasional bees to your garden is one thing. Having a swarm or a hive living inside your house or in a well-traveled part of your property is another. Fortunately, you can contact local beekeepers who will come and relocate the bees to a more bee-friendly location. You can usually find beekeepers through local Facebook community groups or through a simple Google search. You can also search the American Beekeeping Federation for a beekeeper near you.
Supporting Local Beekeepers
Of course, one of the easiest and most delicious ways to help bees is to purchase products from local beekeepers. Farmers markets and specialty stores are great places to shop for products like raw, all-natural honey, honeycomb, and beeswax candles. Many naturopathic practitioners advocate that there are health benefits associated with consuming raw, natural honey. Of course, it also tastes amazing in a mug of tea or drizzled on a piece of homemade bread.
Dogs Naturally Magazine claims that honey can be a healthy addition to your adult dog’s diet and can sometimes help with allergies, digestion, and more. This is just one more reason to support local beekeepers and keep their businesses running so that they can continue to manage their hives.