If we were to ask you about your favorite summer creatures to watch, how would you respond? You’ve probably witnessed squirrels quickly scurrying up trees to escape the neighborhood dog, heard birds whistling original tunes and happily watched playful chipmunks playing with one another. There’s no question that summertime is the perfect opportunity to observe the wonders of nature, but there is one small but mighty creature that you might not always remember to add to your watchlist – the honeybee.
Did you know that you have a bee to thank for every one of three bites of food you consume? Approximately 80 percent of all worldwide pollination is done by the combination of both wild and domestic honeybees. Sadly, the population is in great danger. According to US National Agricultural Statistics, the honeybee decline has decreased from about 6 million hives in 1947 to 2.4 million hives in 2008 (a 60 percent drop.)
Next Thursday, August 19, is National Honey Bee Awareness Day, a day created by beekeepers to promote and educate the public on the bee industry. Whether or not you use honey as a more natural alternative to sugar or just enjoy the delicious taste, now is your chance to help the world’s greatest pollinators. While there are a few factors beyond your immediate control; here are a few ways you can work to protect the dwindling bee population:
- Plant bee-friendly flowers
According to the Honeybee Conservancy, one of the greatest threats to bees is the lack of safe habitats. Consider planting a garden filled with bees’ favorite flowers. Here are a few plants to keep in mind. Remember that you don’t need a lot of space to make a difference!
- Avoid pesticides in your garden
Honeybees have susceptible nervous systems that can be disrupted by synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. When treating your garden from pests, try to avoid using synthetics and instead more natural solutions. Click here to read about gardening alternatives to pesticides.
- Create a bee bath
Like all living creatures, bees can work up a thirst after a long day of hard work. Though, they have a bit more of a challenge because they can’t just turn a faucet. Add a bee bath to your garden to easily give bees a fresh water source. All you need is a shallow dish, plant pot, stones and fresh water. Create yours today!
- Support your area beekeepers
When out shopping for produce, don’t forget to buy local! Area beekeepers and farmers are much more likely to promote bee-supporting practices than large commercial producers. Start a conversation when visiting your next farmer’s market.
These are only four of several ways that you can help save the honeybees. How will you help? Let us know your buzz-tastic ideas in the comments below.
Happy Honey Bee Awareness Day from Lions Pride!