SO What Can You do?
Once one realizes the importance of bees to human lifestyles and comes to understand that honey bees and native bees alike are in grave danger, the next thought is most likely, “So what can I do?”
Thankfully, getting involved to help support bees isn’t hard at all! There are a number of easy steps you can take to start supporting the bee populations of your local community.
Native plants are those that occur naturally in a region in which they evolved. They are the ecological basis upon which life depends, including bees and other pollinators. Without them, the native bees that evolved along with them cannot thrive.
Landscaping choices have meaningful effects on the populations of bees to a local community. The bottom line is this—homeowners and landscapers can benefit bees by simply selecting native plants when making their landscaping decisions.
The best part is that native plants are often less expensive and require less water than non-native plants, are easy to find in local plant nurseries, and still look downright gorgeous in your garden.
Buy Local Honey
Local beekeepers support tens to hundreds of beehives around our community, meaning that they also support hundreds of thousands of honey bees. In an age where many people would like to be closer to and know more about the food that they’re eating, buying and eating local honey is a great place to start.
Not only does local honey taste much better than honey you would buy at a store, but that “honey” from the store may actually just be a mixture of a little bit of honey and a lot of bit of corn syrup. Furthermore, some anecdotal stories have backed up the idea that eating local honey helps people with their allergies. And, most importantly, the money goes to your local beekeepers, which in turn goes to supporting more bees and pollination in your community.
Finding local honey is easy, too! Simply attend one of your local farmers markets or run a quick google search for “local [location] beekeepers”, who will often have a website that you can order honey from.
Don’t Use Pesticides or Other Chemicals
Pesticides, weedkillers, and other chemicals may help to make your lawn and gardens look pretty, but current research suggests that they could be detrimental to both honeybee and native bee populations. Specifically, avoid neonicotinoids, a variety of pesticides that many scientists believe could be partially responsible for colony collapse disorder.
Your lawn and gardens actually don’t need pesticides or other chemicals to look gorgeous, either. By planting native plants that are used to local bugs and weeds and putting in a little research to find gardening tips and tricks, you can still have the best looking yard on the block and know that you’re supporting bee populations.
And, of course, get involved in supporting bees in your local community! There are multitudes of organizations passionate about promoting the success of bees, and taking a part in their activities and events is a great way to make friends and make a difference.
You don’t have to be involved in environmental design or environmental studies to get involved, either! Bees impact of the lives of every single one of us, so it stands that every single one of us can dedicate time to supporting them!
If you’re a CU student of any kind, we would love to have you as a member of our club! Learn more about how you can join us and start having fun while making a difference.