Helping The Bee Population: How To Get Started
About ⅓ of the food we eat is dependent upon bees, including the animals we raise for meat, because the plants they eat need bees to keep them going.Unfortunately, bees are disappearing at an alarming rate due to various factors, including disease, pesticides, and loss of habitat. Here are some of the best ways you can help the bees in your community:
5th Year WIFM poster by Megan Garrison
- Let your grass grow: Your neighbors might cut their lawn religiously every Saturday, but that doesn’t mean you have to keep up with them. Let your grass grow a little longer--and don’t cut it so close--in order to give bees shelter and allow them to find a shady space to rest.
- Say no to pesticides: When you do start your own garden, keep the pesticides away, as these can harm the bees and interfere with their ability to pollinate. Instead, keep an eye on your plants and don your gardening gloves to strip bugs and other pests off before they can do any damage. Some bugs--beetles, ladybugs, and certain types of fly--are actually helpful in a garden because they eat pests, so do some research on which bugs are beneficial in your area and leave these little guys alone.
- Help the bees all year long: Although they’re usually most active in spring and summer, bees hang around for a long time during the year and they’ll need food no matter what the month is. Look up the best plants to keep bees thriving in the fall--including trees, such as holly, willow, and hazel--and grow a strand of ivy, which is a treat for bees.
Many people have a fear of bees and don’t want them around the house, but unless you have an allergy to their stings, there’s nothing to be scared of. Spread the word to friends and family about the best ways to help these important little creatures, and get the community involved.