How to help bees
Bees are critical for the pollination of many of the foods we eat and for propagating plants that are necessary to sustain the environment. However, the number of bees continues to dwindle, due to pollution, loss of habitat and viruses that threaten bee communities. You can help preserve the bees in your local area by implementing a few easy measures that foster their health, habitat and activities.
1 – Help Bees by learning about their Behavior
Many people are afraid of bees because they don’t understand their behavior. The internet offers a wealth of information about different species of bees, how they live, how they produce honey and how they pollinate plants. You can also find a number of books that provide basic information on bee species and behavior. Of course, if you are allergic to bee stings, you may want to keep your physical distance from the bees, but you can still help support the important work that bees do for the environment and for human survival.
2 - Promote Bee-Keeping by Using Local Honey
You can help to promote bees in your area of the country by purchasing raw and local honey. Raw honey has antioxidant properties that can help you build resistance to diseases by boosting your immune system, improving intestinal health and fighting off sore throats and coughs.
3 - Plant Bee-Friendly Species
Certain species of flowers and plants are known to attract bees and provide the sugary nectar that’s necessary for making honey. Planting milkweed will provide plenty of nectar for bees and will also feed monarch butterflies. Lilacs and lavender are favorites for bees. Black-eyed Susans, snapdragons and wisteria will also attract bees. Sedum, lantana and mint will help to draw the bees to your property. Your local nursery can provide additional information on the best plants for attracting bees in your area of the country.
4 - Use Chemical Insecticides and Herbicides Sparingly
You can help to increase the number of bees in your vicinity by avoiding the use of chemical pesticides and herbicides, which can drastically reduce the bee population. Instead, weed by hand, and get used to a few weeds left in your grass, which will provide an important food source for the bee population.
5 - Create a Bee-Bath
Bees get thirsty, too. You can provide a watering and resting space in your garden even on the smallest of balconies. Simply fill a shallow dish with water and set outside. Place a few stones in the bottom that rise above the water level or put in a few cork tops to float on the surface.
6 - Build a Bee Hotel
Many types of bees are solitary and do not live in large colonies with others. With just a few easily found items, you can build a “hotel” that invites these solitary bees to build a safe hive on your property. A simple bee hotel can be made using an empty coffee can. Fill the can with a variety of sizes of hollow reeds, cut bamboo, cardboard tubes and cardboard straws. Tie these items together with string or tape. Hang the “hotel” in an area that will catch the morning sun, close to flowering plants. Clean the hotel each spring to maintain a healthy environment for the bees.
7 - Get Involved With Bee Preservation Groups
Many groups across the country work to prevent excessive use of pesticides and destruction of habitats that help support local bees. Make contact with these groups and add your voice to help form legislative policies that reduce damaging actions to the environment and increase bee survival awareness. Maintaining a healthy environment for species that are important to human survival requires active steps by large sections of the population. These easy steps will help you to do your part to sustain the bee population in your area, so humans can continue to reap the benefits from this remarkable insect’s activities.