Day 140 – As a small child, I was never a fan of bees. I had been stung a couple times and it was painful. So, I made sure to stay clear of them and I was never concerned about their well being. It wasn’t until I was older, did I understand the importance of bees. Sadly, there are plenty of people who do not completely understand how vital bees are to our own existence.
Many of the 20,000 species of bees pollinate 85 percent of food crops and fruits around the world. Without them we would all be in a great deal of trouble. So, it’s worrisome when reports come out about the declining numbers of bees. Global agriculture has led to bee habitat loss. Pesticides and the increasing global temperature has killed countless numbers of bees.
So, what can we do to help?
- Choose native plants for your garden. As mentioned on Day 99, native plants offer a variety of benefits.
- Make sure something is blooming spring, summer and fall. Different species of bees are active during specific months.
- Don’t cover your garden in mulch. Some species of bees will dig a nest in the ground to raise their young. The mulch prevents them from digging.
- By introducing natural pest eater plants to your garden you will decrease the need for pesticides.
- You can participate in citizen-science programs for pollinators such as Pollinator Conservation Program (Xerces Society), The Great Sunflower Project (San Francisco State University), or I-Pollinate (University of Illinois).
So, on this World Bee Day make a commitment to be a friend to the bees and help them continue their work to help us.
Click HERE to read about how the Evanston Host Plant Initiative is working to save endangered bee species.
Tomorrow, extending the life our cell phones.