By now, you’re probably aware that for the first time ever in the United States, 7 species of bees have been put on the endangered species list. These 7 types of yellow-faced bees are all native to Hawaii.
Now, some people are panicking, but others are making sure we all know that these endangered bees are much different than the ones we know to fly around in our backyards.
According to The Washington Post,
The number of commercial bee colonies is still significantly higher than it was in 2006, when colony collapse disorder — the mass die-offs that began afflicting U.S. honeybee colonies — was first documented.
The bees that have been placed on the endangered species list belong to the Hylaeus genus of bees. This species of bees are responsible for pollinating some of Hawaii’s indigenous plant species, which are also somewhat endangered as well.
One good thing with being considered “endangered” is that now the species is being federally protected and focused on, effective on October 31st. Maybe this year, we should all dress up as bees to spread awareness.
Bees are very important. They’re responsible for a large amount of the food that we and animals eat. Through pollination, they produce crops of important nutritious food such as berries, fruits, vegetables and almonds. A domino effect would take place if there were no bees and the result is a scary one.
So what can WE do? Talking about it is helpful but what actions can we take to save the bees?
1. Plant bee-friendly gardens and plants.
For example, Spring – lilacs, penstemon, lavender, sage, verbena, and wisteria. Summer – Mint, cosmos, squash, tomatoes, pumpkins, sunflowers, oregano, rosemary, poppies, black-eyed Susan, passion flower vine, honeysuckle. Fall – Fuschia, mint, bush sunflower, sage, verbena, toadflax.
2. Don’t use chemicals and pesticides to treat your lawn or garden
The chemicals and pest treatments you put on your lawn and garden can cause damange to the honeybees systems. These treatments are especially damaging if applied while the flowers are in bloom as they will get into the pollen and nectar and be taken back to the bee hive where they also get into the honey—which in turn means they can get into us.
3. Buy local, raw honey
The honey you buy directly sends a message to beekeepers about how they should keep their bees. For this reason, and for your own personal health, strive to buy local, raw honey that is from hives that are not treated by chemicals.
4. Leave out fresh water for the bees
Just like us and animals, they get thirsty too.
5. Buy local and organic food when you can
The Urban Markets were a real treat, so when they come back next Summer, make sure to indulge.
6. Learn how to BE a bee-keeper!
Here’s a great place to start: AB gov Beekeeping
7. Don’t kill the bees!
Unlike wasps, they’re just going about their productive days. If you find one in your house, try your absolute best to get it outside rather than zapping or wacking it.
8. Spread the word!
Sharing this article would be a great first step. And learning more for yourself wouldn’t hurt either.
Bee a good person, save the bees!
Credit: Queen of the sun