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 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:

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