Did you know that bees are some of the hardest workers in the insect kingdom? They play a vital role in the process of pollination and are responsible for safeguarding many crops that grow some of our favorite snacks like nuts, avocados and apples. The honey they produce also provides medicinal properties that contribute to our health (like balancing your skin’s microbiome) and wellbeing. We need these pollinator friends to survive and sadly the bee population is declining by more than 30% each year. But here is how we can help protect them and keep our ecosystem thriving.
Plant a Bee Lovin' Garden
With all their hard-earned efforts bees tend to work up quite the appetite. Help keep them nourished by planting your very own bee friendly garden! This can be done in a yard, windowsill, or any small pot. Planting specific plants high in nectar and pollen like Milkweed, White Indigo, and Partridge Peas provide a safe and healthy feeding ground for them. These are just a few examples of some fantastic pollinator plants. You might even petition local government or organizations to include more bee friendly plants in public spaces like parks or along roadways. Every little bit helps in aiding our hardworking pollinator pals!
No More Chemicals
Even if gardening is not your jam, reducing your use of gardening chemicals like Neonicotinoids can help save lives! Common over the counter weed killers for example are responsible for large decreases in many insect populations, especially the western honeybee. A switch to more organic products can be massively beneficial for the health and well-being of all insects even you!
Build a Bee Bath
What is a bee bath? Think of it as a bird bath but on a much smaller scale— it allows bees to cool off and stay hydrated periodically throughout their journeys. Making one is an easy and fun project. Take a planter tray or shallow dish—preferably in a blue-violet color as that will attract the greatest variety of bees—then fill it with rocks, twigs and water so they have plenty of dry landing options. Bee drowning can happen! Be careful where you place it as you don’t want a swarm to congregate near your home so choose a quiet corner away from busy areas.
Make a Bee Home/Hotel
Providing a home for bees is another beneficial way to help with their pollination efforts. Many species of bees do not live-in hives and are solitary by nature so prefer to nest in hollow trees or dead branches. A bee home is a series of wooden tubes banded together. There are DIY kits or ready-made options available online (check out Etsy or Chewy), or you can sponsor one from The Bee Conservancy This is a great way to give bees a safe space to rest and prepare for their next hard day of work!
Support Local Beekeepers and Organizations
More often there is local honey available at almost any farmers market. Helping to support the efforts of honey producers is a super helpful way to help the bees. It provides an opportunity for someone to host a hive of their own and aids in bolstering the bee population. With all the latest research that supports the many healing benefits of honey, it is popping up on ingredient lists for a variety of beauty and wellness products (like sk*p’s superstar, g-honeybiome). Whether you reduce your use of pesticides or build a bee bath in your own backyard, we can all help secure a better future for our pollinator friends.