Today we celebrate National Honey Bee Day and the many contributions of our favorite pollinators. Thanks to them we have almonds, apples, cherries, peaches, cucumbers, and so much more.
Our bees continue to be in trouble. They continue to disappear at alarming rates, with beekeepers reporting astonishing losses this spring from New York to Ohio, and Minnesota.
The National Honey Bee Day program is held one day each year. That does not mean that you can’t get involved the rest of the year. Awareness of the environment around you is a yearlong effort.
Here are a few ways non-beekeepers can support, help, and save the honey bee.
- Consider beekeeping as a worthwhile hobby.
- Support local beekeepers by buying local honey and other beehive products. Honey is the best “green” sweetener you can buy.
- Attend and support beekeeper association events throughout the year in most communities such as environmental centers, schools, and state parks.
- Educate yourself on the dangers and risks with homeowner pesticides and chemicals. Choose non-damaging and non-chemical treatments in and around the home. Most garden pests can be dealt with without harsh chemicals.
- Get to know the honey bee. Unlike other stinging insects, honeybees are manageable, and are non-aggressive.
- Plant a bee friendly garden with native and nectar producing flowers. Use plants that can grow without extra water and chemicals. Native plants are the best to grow in any region. Backyard gardens benefit from the neighborhood beehive.
- Understand that backyard plants such as dandelions and clovers are pollen and nectar sources for a wide variety of beneficial insects, including the honey bee. Dandelions and clover are an unwarranted nuisance for many homeowners. The desire to rid yards of these unwanted plants and have the “perfect” yard are sources for chemical runoff and environmental damage from lawn treatments. A perfect lawn is not worth poisoning the earth.
- Communities should not pass restrictive measure or ban beekeeping.
You can get involved with your community! We need to protect our bees! While policymakers remain resolutely stuck—and have yet to take swift action to address the known causes of bee die-offs—home gardeners, backyard beekeepers and ordinary people all over the country have been stepping up.
Whether you create a pesticide-free haven for bees in your yard, write a letter to the editor, or chat with your neighbors about the importance of protecting pollinators, your actions will make a difference.
Build the movement. Create a bee haven. Talk to neighbors. Spread the word. Visit the Honey Bee Haven site for simple tools to help you protect bees from harmful pesticides in your neighborhood. Let’s celebrate National Honey Bee Day by doing what we can to protect them. Every little bit counts.
Here are some links to help protect our Honey Bees!