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Bee Helpful: 7 Things You Can Do for Pollinators


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Save the Bees

Helping the Bees to Find Their Way

Summertime is a good time to remember our friends the pollinators. Hopefully they are hard at their important work this time of year, buzzing from here to there, fertilizing plants and making honey.

We say “hopefully” because as we’ve reported in 2013 and again last year, bees in particular have suffered from a condition known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). CCD is a phenomenon that appears to affect adult honeybees’ ability to navigate. They simply vanish from their colonies, leaving their hives in search of pollen never to return.

What Causes CCD?

Although the exact cause of CCD is not known, multiple factors have been shown to impact the collapse of bee colonies—including everything from mites, diseases and poor nutrition to pollution, weather and pesticides.

Fortunately, recent data indicates that CCD may be on the decline. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), while the number of beehives lost during the winter months of 2014 – 2015 remains somewhat high, reported cases of CCD have declined substantially over the last five years.

While this is good news, bees and other pollinators continue to need our help.

7 Things You Can Do Now to Help the Bees

  1. Plant trees, flowers and herbs bees love like thyme, poppies, asters, salvia, mint and bee balm. Bees need flowers from very early spring to late autumn, so try to ensure that your garden includes flowering plants during this time.
  2. Make sure your flowers and plants haven’t been pretreated with neonicotinoids.
  3. Choose natural, safe pest control methods instead of harmful chemicals.
  4. Help bees stay hydrated. They get thirsty just like other animals. A birdbath with some stones on it for them to crawl on is helpful as well as pretty in your garden.
  5. Make seed bombs with your kids. It’s a great way to add color and life to neglected urban areas—and attracts pollinators in the process.
  6. Show your love to companies and localities that let wildflowers grow next to highways or under rural power lines, rather than mowing them and spraying them with herbicide.
  7. Support your local beekeepers. Find them at your local farmer’s market and purchase local, raw honey that comes from hives that haven’t been treated with chemicals.
comment_2Can you think of more ways to help our bees? We’d love to hear from you! Just leave us a comment below.

Resources:

Have you ever purchased honey from a local beekeeper?

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Yes:
 
86%
No:
 
14%
Total Votes:
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Amy Hepfner
Amy Hepfner
4 years ago

A friend of mine from high school and her husband are bee keepers. I always use raw honey and have many organic pollinator plants in my garden. I never thought of the bird bath idea….I’m going to do that!! Thanks!

Angie Scott
Angie Scott
4 years ago

I have heard that eating honey local to your city helps with allergies… and, if you do come across a swarm on your property, call a local beekeeper to come remove it for you – many will do so as long as they can take the swarm home with them 🙂

Moderator
Admin
Moderator
4 years ago
Reply to  Angie Scott

That’s good to know! Thanks, Angie.

Don Johnston
Don Johnston
4 years ago

CCD has been shown to occur in hives that are used to pollinate fields where the seeds are either GMO or treated with a systemic pesticide. It might take a couple of generations or more for the colony to collapse. Hives that have been no where near these types of fields have shown no signs of CCD.

Tanya Aoyagi
Tanya Aoyagi
4 years ago

We ALWAYS purchase local raw honey–it’s so much better and helps with our seasonal allergies! My family has been working on planting more bee-friendly flowers around our home in the past few years, and I love the idea of planting specific herbs that bees like as well!

Stacy Lapso
Stacy Lapso
4 years ago
Reply to  Tanya Aoyagi

I also like the different infusions that local honey makers create!

Sonja Andrashko
Sonja Andrashko
4 years ago

I just heard that honey on a bee sting will ease the sting and reduce swelling!

Heather Wiese
Heather Wiese
4 years ago

How do we stop pesticide/herbicide use and GMO foods from being produced? I think that is where we, as a global community must start.

Jennifer Rottman
Jennifer Rottman
4 years ago

I love honey from local bee keepers! I have been planting flowers that attract bees and butterflies to try and help increase the population. I loved the DIY Seed Bombs. I will definitely will be making those next year with the kids

Gingi Freeman
Gingi Freeman
3 years ago

I found a local beekeeper that raises bees naturally on his organic farm, and the majority of his bees are local swarms that he rescued from exterminators! How cool is that?!

Moderator
Admin
Moderator
3 years ago
Reply to  Gingi Freeman

VERY cool! Thanks for your comment, and for your support of your local beekeeper, Gingi!

Kim Metzger
Kim Metzger
3 years ago

From the National Honey Board: To cook with honey substitute for up to half the granulated sweetener in a recipe. To bake with honey with each cup of honey used 1) reduce any liquid by 1/4 cup 2) add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 3) reduce oven my 25 degree F.

Marnie Fulmer
Marnie Fulmer
3 years ago

Please please consider using beeswax alternatives in products such as the Body Balm and Lip Balms, Leather Shine. Most vegans do not use any animal products and as bees are part of the animal kingdom, do not use beeswax. There are many alternatives out there (used by many companies) and I’d love to be able to say our products and company is truly vegan!

Alison Jones
Alison Jones
1 year ago

Every year we plant butterfly gardens in our backyard and bee flowers!!!