How To Help Save Bees
Written by: Doug
Published: 8th August 2019
All animals and life sources have their purpose. However, there is no denying that some play a more important role than others, and it’s crucial that we help save bees.
If we help save bees, we’re helping the planet and we’re helping ourselves. What makes bees so important is that they are a pollinator. This means that they assist plants in terms of growth, breeding, and producing food.
They do this because they transfer the pollen between plants that are flowering, and so they keep the life cycle turning. This is especially important when you consider that the main bulk of plants today need pollination. This relates to a huge number of plants that we need for food, for example, squash, apple, vanilla, and almond plants.
Moreover, they pollinate roughly 80 per cent of the wildflowers in Europe. Imagine how dull and dreary our countryside would look if we did not help save bees!
Bees are in trouble
Sadly, bees are in trouble! There is a huge concern about the decline of bees around the world.
There are a number of different stresses that have caused the bee population to decline. This includes
- impact of climate change
- exposure to pesticides
- loss of food, and
- loss of their habitats
We need to help save bees, and there are a number of ways we can do so, which is what this article is all about. Conservationists and environmentally aware people are dedicated to letting everyone else know about the changes that can be made so that we can all work together for the good of our planet. A little bit of knowledge can go a very long way.
The different types of bee
Before we reveal what can be done to help save bees around the world, it is first important to understand that there are many different types of bees.
This is something that a lot of people don’t realise. While many bees may look the same, there are actually more than 20,000 species known around the globe.
In the United Kingdom, there are around 270 species that have been recorded.
The most famous is the honeybee. Beekeepers keep honeybees in colonies of managed hives. The rest of these bees are in the wild. This includes more than 220 types of solitary bee and 25 bumblebee species.
Like honeybees, bumblebees live in social colonies, typically in tree cavities or holes in the ground. Bumblebees will have a furry and fat appearance, whereas honeybees are slimmer and smaller – they look more like a wasp.
Honeybees, as the name suggests, produce large amounts of honey, whereas bumblebees only make small amounts of honey-like substance, which they eat themselves. They both play a massive role in terms of pollinating. However, both are in decline.
Honeybees are largely in decline because of neonicotinoids, mites and diseases, whereas bumblebees are in decline because of flower shortages in the countryside, meaning they have fewer places to feed from and also fewer places to nest in the countryside as well.
How can we help save bees?
Now that you have a good understanding regarding why bees are so important, as well as learning that they are sadly on the decline, let’s figure out how we can help save bees.
There are a number of different approaches to help save bees, so let’s take a look…
Become a bee ambassador
One of the things that you can do to try and help save bees is to become a bee ambassador. After all, there is power in knowledge. One of the biggest problems that we face is educating people about the decline in bees and what this means for our planet. The more that we can get the word out about this, the more that people will be inclined to do their bit to protect this amazing species.
Support your local beekeeper
You can help save bees in your area by supporting your local beekeeper. Beekeepers work incredibly hard to make sure that bees are nurtured and that they are bettering the local community.
There are many different ways that you can support your local beekeeper. The most obvious would be to buy the products they produce, for example, beeswax products and locally-made honey.
Aside from this, why not pay them a visit and offer your support? From volunteer work to financial support, there are many ways that you can help your beekeeper, ensuring that he or she is able to keep doing the amazing job they are doing at present.
Build homes for bumblebees
Of course, you won’t be able to build homes for honeybees. However, you can build homes for bumblebees, as well as the other solitary bees.
Around 30 per cent of bees will live in holes inside of trees and hollow stems while the remaining 70 per cent live underground.
Since a lot of bumblebees and solitary bees live in undisturbed land, why not keep an untouched plot of land for them in your condo?
Build a bee bath
Another fun way to help save bees is to build a bee bath. All you need to do is fill a small dish or a bird bath with some water. You can then arrange stones and pebbles inside so that they poke out of the water.
Bees will be able to land on the pebbles and stones, enabling them to drink some water while they take a break from pollinating and foraging. After all, such a hard worker needs hydrating just like us humans do!
Bees need trees
In addition to the suggestions that have already been mentioned, planting trees and maintaining them is also important for bee health. This is because bees get most of their nectar from trees.
Whenever a tree blooms, it is going to be providing hundreds if not thousands of blossoms for bees to feed on. This means that trees are an amazing source of food for bees. Plus, you also have the factor in the fact that a lot of bees live in trees too, and so they are important for their habitat.
Tree resin and leaves provide nesting material for bees. Moreover, their natural wood cavities make exceptional shelters. However, with development and deforestation increasing, it is a worrying time.
You can help to counteract this by joining tree-planting parties in your area and by caring for trees.
Plant a bee-friendly garden
Another suggestion that you can follow when it comes to ways to help save bees is to build a bee-friendly garden.
Flowers assist bees in terms of feeding. However, as bees are pollinators, you are essentially going to be helping each other, and so you help your garden to flourish as well.
There are a number of different things you can do here. For example, it is a good idea to leave a bit of your plot undisturbed for ground-nesting bees. You should also plant flowers in patches because bees prefer to focus on one type of flower at a time.
Another piece of advice is to dedicate yourself to having blooms all year round so that your bees are always catered to. You should skip the double flowers, as they lack pollen.
It is also a good idea to stay away from hybrid flowers because they can be sterile, which means they will often have no pollen and they will also have little or no nectar as well.
Stay away from harmful pesticides
Last but not least, another way that you can help save bees is by staying away from harmful pesticides. Herbicides, fertilisers, and synthetic pesticides are harmful to bees.
If you use pesticides in your garden, you will not only cause the bees to keep away but you will endanger their lives too, which is obviously very worrying! If you do need to treat your garden, it is best to go for organic pesticide options.
Moreover, you should spray this at night, as this is when pollinators are not as active. You can also use beneficial insect, for example, ladybugs and praying mantises, in your garden.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the imperative role that bees play today. There is no denying that bees have a huge part to play when it comes to our planet.
Without bees, we would not have such amazing countryside nor would we have some of the plants that we use for food.
It is only right that we try and give back to a species that has given so much to us. Therefore, if we all make an effort to follow the suggestions that have been mentioned, we can ensure that there is a huge push in terms of trying to help save bees and ensuring they survive and thrive.