The world’s honeybees are finding themselves in a pretty sticky situation. According to some scientists, bee populations are decreasing at an alarming rate. However, others criticize this scientific conclusion and say that the bees are, in fact, doing just fine. So what’s all the buzz about the bees?
Story by Jacqueline Briddell
Illustrations by Sonia Margolin
The destruction of natural habitats, the ongoing use of pesticides and insecticides and the pressing threat of climate change are all said to be contributors to the declining honeybee populations. Regardless of what you personally think is true, preserving the lives of honeybees can only be a good thing.
Here’s a short list of easy things you can do to help protect the bees.
Plant Bee-friendly Flowers and Plants
The term “bee-friendly” often invokes confusion among people because many assume that bees pollinate any and every flower, but this is not the case. Just like humans, bees are attracted to plants and flowers based on color, scent and blooms. That means that brightly-colored petals, and small and flat or tubular-shaped flowers are more likely to attract bees and therefore be pollinated more frequently.
Buy Local Honey
Local organic beekeepers work hard to maintain and protect their bees, which cannot always be said of huge honey-producing corporations. By buying raw honey in your hometown, you’re not only directly supporting a local business, but also, the honey is fresh and delicious. Plus, though the research is inconclusive, many scientists believe eating local honey helps with seasonal allergies.
Support Your Local Farmers
Bees aren’t just responsible for pollinating flowers and making honey, they also pollinate a significant amount of other key crops, including common favorites such as apples, almonds, strawberries, tomatoes and zucchini. Buying organic foods from local farmers means you know exactly where the fresh produce is coming from, and you can assure that no bee-harming pesticides were used to grow them. And again, you’re supporting more local businesses, which is always a good thing.
Stop Swatting the Bees!
Contrary to popular belief, bees are not out to get you. Unless you get in their way, or provoke them to sting, they usually won’t mess with you. If a bee lands on you, stay calm and wait for it to realize you are not a flower. If you can’t wait that long, gently brush it off. Most of the time, if you aren’t aggressive, the bee will not attack you. Bees are way too busy pollinating plants to want to eat humans. Besides, they’re vegetarians.
Protect the Environment
By protecting the environment and helping save our planet, you are also protecting the bees. Stopping the usage of pesticides and insecticides, recycling and saving water and energy are all concrete steps in the right direction.By doing this, you’re not only saving the bees, both directly and indirectly, but also every other animal species on earth and–oh yeah, us humans, too.
If you’re feeling extremely generous, you can donate to environmental organizations, such as Environment Texas, dedicated to helping protect the environment and specifically, the bee populations. Help preserve the lives of our favorite honey making, black and yellow insect friends because a world with honey is a sweet, sweet world.