The bee population has been in steep decline in recent years. From 2020 to 2021, beekeepers across the US have lost 45.5% of their managed honeybee colonies-- the second-highest loss rate since 2006. We’re losing bees faster than ever for many reasons, including chemicals, habitat loss, and disease. And the effects could be catastrophic for the environment and human life as we know it. Between 75% and 95% of all flowering plants depend on pollinators like bees to survive, including more than 1,200 crops. But what can we do about it? Read on to learn how to save the bees by making just a few simple changes.
Plant a Bee-Friendly Garden
One of the most significant threats to the bee population is a lack of access to suitable habitats. Bees need a safe place with a variety of food sources where they can build their homes. You can help support the health of your local bee populations by planting flowers that will provide them with plenty of nectar and pollen.
Consider growing plant varieties that bloom during different parts of the growing season so that you can provide the bees with a steady food supply. Grow native plants in your bee garden and avoid invasive or toxic species. Check with your local garden center about which plants are safe for your region before planting them in your yard or garden.
Avoid Pesticides and Other Harmful Chemicals
Harsh chemicals can be dangerous for bees, causing severe harm to their sensitive systems. Avoid using pesticides and herbicides (especially neonicotinoids) to treat the plants in your yard. You should also avoid fertilizers containing these same or other harmful chemicals. Many homeowners use fertilizers with high nitrogen contents when planting their gardens because they believe it will help the plant grow faster. But this can harm your plants’ root systems if done incorrectly or for an extended period.
Instead, use natural and organic solutions whenever you can. Add compost to your yard to improve soil health. To prevent pests, try introducing insects like ladybugs and praying mantises as a natural deterrent.
Provide a Safe Nesting Spot for Native Pollinators
Around 70% of bee species nest underground, while the other 30% live in tunnels and holes inside trees or hollow stems. You can protect your local bees by providing a nesting spot or building a bee condo on your property. Designate dry, undisturbed areas on your property for bees to raise their young underground.
A bee condo is an open-sided box with wooden frames and tubes inside where bees can build nests safely away from predators like wasps and hornets. These simple structures mimic their natural shelters, making them hospitable homes.
Spread the Word About the Cause
The most essential thing you can do is inform others about how to save the bees. Post on social media, talk to your friends and family or write a letter to your local government. You can even spread the word with a fashion statement. Show your support with a Protect the Pollinators t-shirt or add a retro Save the Bees keychain to your keyring. Shop from eco-friendly companies whose sustainable business practices show that they care as much as you do!
Honeybees are one of nature’s most fascinating and essential creatures; they play a critical role in supporting the food supply chain and the environment as a whole. But we don’t have to sit back and watch while these vital insects creep closer to extinction; we can all play a role in preserving these pollinators. With the suggestions above, you can do your part and learn how to save the bees.
You can use your consumer power for good when you visit Advanced Primate. Check out our collection of bee-inspired, environmentally friendly products, or learn more about our pledge to support environmental causes.