Here are some facts about bees: they play vital role in our ecosystem and economy, as one of the most-important crop pollinators on the planet; they are facing danger due to climate change, widespread pesticide use, and the effects of habitat destruction; they aren’t the ones stinging you (usually). Bees are our pals. Here are some small things you can do to make a huge impact.

 

Get started on your own little bee garden

 

It doesn’t take a lot of effort, know-how, or money to get started on a small bee-friendly garden. “Garden”, in this sense, can really be a collection of potted plants or a very small front yard edible garden.  All you need to get started are a few of the right type of plants (for attracting bees, go with single-petal blue, yellow, or purple flowers and native species) and a small bee bath – a flat water source filled with stones or pebbles so the bees have a place to land. Make sure you forgo the pesticide use in your garden. Even if it’s a small amount, it can still have devastating effects on your local bee population.

 

Let your yard get a little unkempt

 

If you can handle a non-perfectly manicured lawn, you can help local bees. Let clover and dandelions grow in your yard, as they are among bees’ favorite plants. As Care2.com points out, it couldn’t be any easier. All you have to do to let dandelions grow is to not kill them!

 

Apart from that, you can leave some sticks, twigs, and other brush lying around one corner of your backyard. Not all bees live in hives and many build/burrow into nests at ground level. Providing a habitat for bees is just as important as providing them with pollen sources.

 

Buy local honey

 

Bees are going to produce honey whether you eat it or not. Eating honey does not harm bees. You can, however, help bees by being choosy when it comes to what honey you buy. Local honey is produced by smaller, local beekeepers who are, on the whole, more concerned with the health of their bee population than with massive profits. It may cost you a little more, but it’s well worth it. It may even provide some extra health benefits.

 

Buy organic

 

Once again, this is something that’s easy if you don’t mind spending a little extra cash. Organic products are grown without pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals that can harm bee populations. Buy supporting organic growers, you’re giving your money to people who are doing their small part to help protect the bees. If you can buy organic AND local (think farmers markets), then it’s a bonus.

 

Pick up your pen and/or wallet

 

Saving the bees is a global issue that you can affect on a local level, but big, sweeping change must also come from those in power. By picking up your pen and writing your congresspeople you can let them know that honeybee research and funding is an important issue to you (and you vote!). By picking up your wallet and donating to one of the many organizations working to protect bee populations, you can make sure their work continues.

 

If you are concerned about the bees but don’t think that you can do anything to help, you’re wrong. Even taking these five small steps can make an impact. If the bee population is hurting, so are we. Our food production greatly depends on these buzzy little pollinators.

This Article Courtesy of Christy Erickson from Saving Our Bees

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com