Love Honey? Love Fruit? Love Bees! When we think of helping bees, we most often think of the honey bee. There are more than 20,000 bee species, and all of them are endangered. There are many theories related to why bees are disappearing–disease, pesticides, cell phones, GMOs and urban and farming deserts.
One of the best things everyone can do to help bees is to create a meadow with year round flowers. If you don’t have a back yard or are unwilling to dig up parts of your lawn (or all of it), you can create a meadow in a pot–great for city dwellers. Do not use pesticides. Do consider replacing part of your lawn with bee and butterfly friendly flowers: indigenous plants always. Bee deserts include lawns, monoculture farming, urban areas and so on: any broad area that doesn’t have a year round food supply for these busy pollinators. Hedgerows with a variety of flowers are a fabulous way to help bees so consider this instead of fences. If you like golf, see if you can influence the owners to plant patches of indigenous flowers along fairways, around the clubhouse and so on. Without bees, much of our food will disappear. We depend on them.Lastly, if you are worried about bees stings, don’t, unless you are allergic to them. They really don’t want to sting you as they will die. They are not aggressive by nature. They will only sting you if you frighten or feel threaten, even if you’re trying to help them. I’ve been stung three times, once when I was trying to save a bee from drowning–he didn’t know I was helping him, once when I felt something tickling me and, without looking, swatted it. Ouch! The third time, well…..I found a large beehive growing into the walls of my garage. I called a beekeeper. Unfortunately, we had to dismantle the hive. Dressed for the occasion with smoking gun in hand, we worked for a couple of hours–the beekeeper hoping to capture the queen so as to start another colony. He actually heard her fly away. Rats! After we were done, he put all of the honeycombs and so many bees in my kitchen. I said, what are you doing? He replied, “You can’t keep it outside, the ants’ll get it.” I was not comfortable around bees, a bit frightened. Nevertheless, there I was with this huge hive and hundreds of bees–not doing very well sad to say, flying and walking around as I dismantled the combs and collected the honey. It was fascinating to see the interiors of the hive. It took two days. And so, the third time I got stung was because I accidentally put my hand on one. I learned not to be afraid of bees. If fact, I’ve had a crush on them ever since. Please do what you can to help these magnificent and vital insects.
For several videos on this issue search the web. For some reason I am not able to link these for you, so here’s a great Ted Talks on Why Bees are Disappearing https://www.ted.com/talks/marla_spivak_why_bees_are_disappearing?language=en
Also check out https://savebees.org