Bees have a strong symbiotic relationship with the flowering plants of our world, which ultimately enables us humans to feast on a vast variety of fruits and vegetables every day. According to One Green Planet, these incredible insects pollinate over 80% of all flowering plants, including about 70 of humanity’s top 100 food crops — an incredible fact.
Beyond spreading the pollen, bees have been producing sweet amber honey for the last 10 to 20 million years, and appear in ancient texts from several great human civilizations ranging from the Minoans to Sumerians to the Vedics.
The iconic animal not only contributes to thriving floral growth, it also helps create nourishing habits for birds and insects while beautifying the Earth. The majority of floral landscapes we so enjoy in nature partly come about as a result of the hardworking honey bee’s labor.
The bulbous-bodied insect, however, is not faring very well. Its population numbers have been shrinking due to what some scientists and bee handlers call excessive pesticide use and dramatic habitat loss, Greenpeace considers. As a result, since 2006, 40% of the U.S.’s farmed honey bee population perished in mass, with the U.K. reporting an even greater 45% loss of the honey bee since 2010.
3 Bee-Saving Things You Can Do
Not all is lost, however. As an avid bee lover, you can do the following to help save them:
1. Support Local and Organic Farmers
Take advantage of your power as a consumer, and only buy your food and produce from local and organic farmers who partake in pesticide-free practices that safeguard the iconic bee. Be sure to ask key questions about the origin of food, cultivation methods and organic certifications with the producers you meet at the local Farmer’s Market. Find out their opinions and perspectives on how local bees are faring. The more curious you are, the more you will learn about the bee, which will help fuel action on your part to save the buzzy nectar-drinking insect.
2. Become a Home Gardener
Starting your own backyard ecosystem for native insect and bird wildlife is proven to liven up the mind, body and spirit Take advantage of such proven benefits and start a garden today. Whether you’re looking to have just flowers or edible plants, herbs and veggies in your yard, keeping to the basics of planting plant bulbs in the fall, and tending to the plant’s soil and water needs during the rest of the temperate year is enough to keep a good garden going.
Read up on the hobby, and take note of where the natural light dwells most in your garden space. Surveying the soil with a soil testing kit is also a good way to start getting a feel of where you can plant certain flowers and plants. Have only a small outdoor space? Consider planting only kitchen herbs, which are easy to grow and are sold in every plant and hardware store. This way, you and your family can savor a connection to the earth from garden to plate, every time you cook with your own fresh, piquant herbs.
3. Buy Only Locally-Sourced Honey
If you live well outside the city, buy honey straight from a local beekeeper. Your money would help support beekeeping unions that are fighting to save the bee from habitat loss and bee-harming pesticides. You’d be helping to buoy bee-saving grassroots campaigns against the large chemical companies who only care about the bottom line. Eating local foods, by minimizing fuel emissions during their transport, is also considerably environmentally friendly.
Your Efforts Help
We simply can’t live without the buzzy gold-and-black striped bee. An animal intimately linked with the very manifestation of spring and summer color-streaked landscapes, we can each do something to keep the bee thriving, and propagating, for the good of humanity, greater fauna, the planet and future life generations. Start or continue working on making a bee-friendly garden today — you’d be reaping a host of benefits from the activity.