• Do You Know How Bees Help Your Family?

    As a parent, you want to take care of your family. It doesn’t matter if you have a day job or take care of things at home, your family depends on you. Believe it or not, that’s why you need to support bees.

    In case you haven’t heard, bees are disappearing at an alarming rate. 40% of bee colonies in the US have collapsed, and some species of bees have been declared an endangered species. This is a big problem since bees have a positive impact on people. However, there are a few simple things you can do to help bees — and your whole family.

    The Honey bee (Apis mellifera) pollinating of New York aster.

    Bees Support Your Food Supply

    Why are bees so important to you and yours? Because they are the foundation for the food supply thanks to pollination.

    Bees fly from flower to flower eating the nectar they find there. This also coats them in pollen, which plants need to generate new seeds. Bees do this so often that they help 30% of our food crops grow. If the bees start to die off, then these crops won’t grow next year because they don’t have seeds.

    Honeylove.org lists the foods that are in jeopardy due to problems with bees. Some of the more common ones are:
    ● Apples
    ● Peaches
    ● Strawberries
    ● Onions
    ● Avocados
    ● Green beans
    ● Carrots
    Even if these foods don’t disappear completely, they will become scarce and their prices at the grocery store can skyrocket. Even though there are other animals that help pollinate plants, bees are by far the most effective and widespread.

     

    Protecting Bees At Home

    The causes of a dwindling bee population are still being debated, but there are definitely ways you and your family can help support bees. Buy organic foods whenever possible. Organic farming does not include any pesticides, and those have been proven to sicken and kill bees. That’s also why you should avoid using pesticides or weed killers at your home.

    National Geographic talks about including a bee block or bee hotel in your yard. These small, simple structures can provide a great home for bees, which helps them grow and thrive in your area.

    Starting A Bee-Friendly Garden

    While these tips can help, one of the best things your family can do for bees is to create a bee-friendly garden. A garden like this gives bees more food. This can help bee colonies stay healthy and reproduce so their numbers can improve.

    Honeylove.org explains you should start by choosing plants that bloom at different times of the year. Bees are typically active March through October, so make sure there are some flowers throughout these months. You should also plant the same flowers in groups because it lets bees spend less time finding food and more time enjoying it.

    When it comes to picking flowers, choose ones native to your area and ones that are “open” — the easier it is to find a flower’s center, the easier it is for bees to get to their food.

    Bees Need Your Family’s Help

    Besides, creating a garden can be great fun for a family. It’s a cooperative activity outdoors that has been shown to teach people about nature and improve one’s mental health. By building a bee-friendly garden or even a bee hotel, you can help bees survive.

    Author: Christy Erickson – SavingOurBees.org

    Saving Our Bees is committed to collecting and distributing the most accurate and up-to-date resources on the bee crisis and information on how to help in your own community. Let’s come together, be impactful, and save our bees!

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