Save the Bees, Save the World
(Cover Photo: "You will my honey" by Feliciano Guimarães from Guimarães, Portugal)
Fighting hunger one bee at a time
You’ve spent all spring and summer swatting away these buzzing, stinging, annoying little black and yellow buggers. You’ve cursed their existence and wished for just one picnic in the park without having to deal with bees and insects. Well, bee careful what you wish for because the population of wild and commercially managed bees is decreasing at an alarming rate. We all need to change our attitude and start remembering all the good that all bees have to offer, and not focus on the sting or two you got while fighting them off.
Bee pollination is an integral part of the world’s agricultural system
Over the past decade, the number of honeybee colonies in the US has dropped significantly, setting off alarms with every farmer across the country. Because the decrease in honeybee populations isn’t just going to affect your honey consumption. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that roughly 71 fruit and vegetable crops rely on bees for pollination. Before you know it, you’ll be looking at one sorry picnic basket, and you’ll wish you hadn’t swatted away those bees or destroyed that hive in your backyard.
Bee colonies have dropped to an all-time low in the US and experts are trying to pinpoint the cause of this massive Colony Collapse Disorder. When threatened, bees are abandoning their colonies, leaving only the queen bee behind. Threats include:
- Chemicals and pesticides
Bee a hero, and help bring back the bees
We know it’s winter time now, so planting isn’t the smartest thing to do, but even though plants are taking a break, bees are hard working little insects all year round. When pollination slows down in winter, the worker bees spend time eating their honey to stay warm in the cold months. Of course, there will always be winter flowers and ornamental plants, to keep the busy bees working all year long.
Keep you winter worker bees active and happy by planting some winter flowers and plants.If you are growing larger crops, limit the use of pesticides that could negatively affect the bee population. Support your local beekeepers by buying local and organic produce. And last, you can adopt a bee colony or donate to your local beekeepers association.
Don’t bee a buzz kill
They may be small, and not as cute and cuddly as a panda bear, but size (and cuteness) shouldn’t matter when it comes to protecting and preserving all living things on this great planet.