Terrie lives on a farm. She loves to grow her own food. She is passionate about helping others, including animals. We need the bees.
Why You Should Help Save the Bees
All over the world, bees are in danger. Why should we care?
- There are many of our foods that will not grow without them. You just may be surprised when you learn how many flowering and food-producing plants rely on the existence of bees.
- Without bees, plants will die. Some farmers have even resorted to hand-pollinating. Believe me when I say you don't want to do this on a large scale.
- We even benefit from the by-product of their hard work (honey).
Please help save the bees. Our lives depend on it. Here are a few things we can all do to help protect them and ensure we have the foods we need to live healthy lives. Not only will you be helping bees, but you will also help yourself and beautifying your yard.
Plants That Attract Bees
9 Ways to Help the Bees
- Plant bee-friendly foods, herbs, flowers, and shrubs.
- Allow some flowering weeds and wildflowers to grow in your yard.
- Don't use chemicals or pesticides in your garden. The chemicals are toxic to the bees and other pollinators.
- Build a home to welcome the bees to your yard.
- Buy local honey from the beekeepers nearby.
- Have a water station or birdbath for the bees to drink.
- Support local and organic farmers in your area.
- Take time to learn more about saving the bees.
- Use the information you have to help protect the bees and teach others to do the same.
How to Provide a Home for Bees
There are a few different ways for you to provide a home for bees. Here are three easy to make homes they will love:
- Gather small twigs and bundle with regular twine, uncolored and Raw. Tie them all together, make a loop and hang them from a tree branch or shrub.
- Use a 12 X 12 piece of plywood and drill holes. Hang on a tree stump or from a post. You will want one that is 3/4 to an inch thick for the bees to lay in.
- Make the home with pieces of bamboo. Cut all to the same length. It's the hollow ones people use for home decor. Bundle together and tuck into a Plastic tube or juice bottle. Assemble at least two to three, and join them. Use the twine, wrap, and make a loop, now hang like you did the others. Bees do best in groups, so you will want to have enough to provide for them and some of their friends.
Before making these homes make sure your town or city allows for bees to be kept in your neighborhood. If you are on an acreage or farm, you might consider having bee boxes. If this is something for you, then make sure you know how much work is involved and the full extent of the care bees and their hives need.
I haven't made these, but they looked like they would be cool. I don't want to do anything that could inter fear with my neighbor's beehives. Please try these and let me know how it turns out.
How to Create a Water Station for the Bees
You can help the bees by adding a water bath or station to your yard or garden area. Reuse an old birdbath or dish from your home. Place on a log, stump, or plant stand. Add a small amount of water and place rocks randomly around the plate. The rocks will allow not only bees to access water but other pollinators as well.
Some people make them a sugary drink mix. Please don't do this. If you provide them with sugar water, it can detour them from pollinating the flowers and fruit trees. Keeping your yard as natural as possible is critical to the future of the bees. You want to help improve their chance of survival but not hinder their natural instincts.
All Changes Can Help Save the Bees
There are a few different issues that are harming the bees. Some are easier than others for us to fix. Here are a few that concern me, colony collapse and a fungal disease that causes the bees to die at an alarming rate.
- One thought is that colony collapse is a virus that is brought in by bees who travel to areas where chemicals and pesticides are used, and the poisons have been carried back to the hives. Another thought is that it's a bacteria or fungus caused by GMO crops. The bees pollinate and bring it back to the hive, infecting all the bees. (GMO is Genetically Modified Organisms)
- Canada is leading the way to stopping the use of chemicals and pesticides in the growing of commercial food crops. Canadian Health and Food Regulators has been carefully controlling the use of chemical pesticides and heading towards more organically grown food crops across Canada. Some even use natural resources, such as ladybugs, to help control pests on some crops. Herbicides are a replacement for the chemical treatment of food plants. Its uses are being regulated by the federal, provincial, territorial and local government levels. All are working together to improve the way our foods are being treated and grown for the health and well-being of humans and bees. Canada food regulators now require food labels that show if food is grown organically or not.
- Others countries are now following their lead. Europe is also helping to save the bees, and regulators are working to improve the way they grow and treat the food crops. Some European countries have even banned the sale of GMO-grown food.
- The USA now requires more detailed food labels, which allow the consumer to have more choice in what foods they choose to consume. For more information, see the FDA Regulators. People want to be more aware of what chemical is in their food and how their food is being harvested.
- One huge plus for the bee is the cancellation of the chemical DDT, which they used before 1972. DDT or dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane. It was used by the USA on humans during the war. This compound was used in both insecticides and as a pesticide.
- Some new research shows that there could be a connection to the wide usage of cell phones and their negative effect on the bee colonies. There is now information out there that suggests the radio waves from cell phones interfere with the natural homing instinct. Cell waves confuse the bees and keep them from getting back to their hives.
Buying local and organic is a great way to help the bees and show the rest of the world that we care about them. Considering how our food is grown and what we use on the food that is being grown shows we care about the bees. Growing your food is the best way to ensure your food is completely organic, from the tiniest seed to the treatment and harvest of your food.
If you find yourself in a rural area and know there are hives around, please turn off your cell phone. Not only will it help them, but you also get a break from the noise. Please consider the effect of what you do or don't do has on the bees. Their life, as well as ours, depends on it.
Caring for the Bees
The way we care for and provide for the bees will also benefit other pollinators. The bees do the majority of the pollinating; butterflies and ants also contribute to the job. It's of utmost importance that we help in any way we can to help them survive. In closing, I would like to ask you to join me in helping save the bees. Our own lives depend on it. Whether it's something large or small, in your yard or community, anything you do will help.
From my house to yours, if the bees win, we win. Let saving the bees begin.
- The home of the largest bee, who is also the largest honey provider in Canada, Falher, Alberta.
- My neighbor who has a lot of beehives.
- SOS-bees website
- The government of Canada, Information on food regulations.
- The FDA, Information on American Government food regulations.
- Search results for online searches, work I've done to improve my own knowledge and plant growing skills. Along with gaining knowledge to help save the bees
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2017 Terrie Lynn
Terrie Lynn (author) from Canada on June 28, 2017:
Thank you Dora, You are always so kind. The bees are very important to our survival and us to theirs. Have a great week.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on June 28, 2017:
Such a thoughtful, compassionate heart behind this article. Thanks Terrie, for making us aware. I'll remember not to get rid of all the wild flowers.