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Bee Kind!

By: Angelia Daugirda

Bee Kind!

If the bee disappears from the surface of the Earth, man would have no more than four years left to live.” -Albert Einstein

Bees are so much more than a source of honey for us and those super determined bears that we see on every childhood cartoon.  

Bees are one of the most amazing species of insect!  

 

Did you know that...

Bees have 4 wings, 5 eyes and 6 legs!

They flap their wings 200 times per second!

Worker bees 'dance' to communicate!

A hive of bees will fly over 55,000 miles to make 1lb of honey!

Worker bees are all female!

There are about 4,000 species of bees in the US!

Most bees are actually solitary and the 'hive' idea is simply because honey bees get the most attention out all the bee species!

 

While most people focus on the honey bee, everyone of the 20,000 species of bee worldwide is beneficial to our environment! We are truly blessed to co-exist with these hardworking insects!

Why do they need our help? As Einstein said, without them, we will not survive very long.  We need to BEE responsible! 

 

Consider this...

Crops that depend on pollination are five times more valuable than those that do not.

According to a 2016 study, pollutants break down scent molecules emitted by plants, making it harder for bees to detect food. This means they often end up flying further to find food and bring it back to their nests. 

Although hand-pollination, by humans, is a possibility for most fruit and vegetable crops, it is incredibly labor-intensive and expensive.  Japanese scientists have developed tiny robotic pollinator drones, but they remain prohibitively expensive to use on entire orchards or fields of time-sensitive flowers.

The bee population in the US decreased by 30.7% between October 2017 and April 2018. Imagine what it is annually!  That was one of the most dramatic declines that the US has seen. 

One of the principal reasons for the decline of the bee population is neonicotinoids, a group of insecticides that are widely used on farms and in urban landscapes.  They are easily absorbed by plants and then present in pollen and nectar, making it toxic for bees. While we would love to through a few of the big names under the chemical bus, this group of chemicals is used in more household products than we could even begin to list.  Easy way to avoid them?  Do not use chemicals!  Simple!

 

While we could go on and on about what humans are doing wrong, we would rather educate the masses on what we can do to help!  It isn't hard to see that things are rapidly changing and if we want to see positive shift, then it starts at home.  

 

You can BEE friendly by...

Growing a diverse garden is a great start!   Create a space that is full of a diverse selection of pollinator friendly flowers and plants, tall grasses, native species of plants, let some of your vegetable plants go to flower and let a lil bit of wild space grow among your groomed landscape.  Planting a variety of color, height, texture, varying bloom time, and more, can create a pollinator paradise.  Remember to seed wildflower annuals, herbs, native flowers and not just rely our average lawn and garden center plants.  Diversity is key.  With a bit of research, you can find out which plants are native to your area and how to grow an amazing, low input, pollinator safe haven, that is beautiful!

Providing areas that have spaces for the bees and all of their pollinator friends to lay eggs, find protection, and make themselves at home.  Adding in an 'insect hotel' full of twigs, branches, logs, bamboo, and more, can be a fun addition to your outdoor space.  It is full of nooks and crannies for our friends to find solace and safety.  While they aren't too great at paying the bill, they do make up for it in how many plants they visit and pollinate on the daily.  

Educating yourself is a gift to them and you!  Instead of killing every bee that unknowingly finds its' way into your home, get to know our winged friends.  See one! Look it up!  You would be surprised by how many different species you have in your area and how amazing they are! Bees are not all swarming, attacking, human stinging savages, they are actually doing their job and just buzzing along!

Ditching the chemicals is huge!  All synthetic chemicals!  Pesticides!  Insecticides! Herbicides! Fungicides! You name it, get rid of it.  This is one of the biggest reasons for the tremendous decline of the species.  Choose organic versions over conventional toxic options.  When we created Organic Plant Magic, we knew that we could make a world of difference by being truly organic.  Every organic option that you choose tells growers, manufacturers, your community, your family, the planet, and our insect friends that you care and that there is a better way!  

Providing water is more important than you may realize!  Bees DO need water!  Not just for hydration, but some need mud to make their nests. Make space for small watering stations throughout your garden space, even on your balcony and patio.  A shallow dish filled with water is perfect.  Add in small stones for them to rest on.  This is so simple, yet so essential!

Relocating rather than eradicating!  See a bee swarm?  Have thousands of them buzzing in and out of your home's eaves?  We totally get it that you do not want them to make themselves at home in your home, but they were just doing what most species do...set up a safe living space, help the queen, mate, lay a ton of eggs, raise some babies and perpetuate the species!  You cannot blame them, but please please please do NOT grab a can of poisonous spray to get rid of them.  Better option... call a local beekeeper or bee removal service.  They will safely relocate them and sometimes even 'domesticate' them so they can be used as a hive on a local orchard or farm.  

 

Every little bit makes a difference, to them, to us, to all wildlife, to every single thing on this planet!  Bees are but one of thousands of beneficial insects, birds, bats (yup, they are amazing and much needed too!) that deserve our love, protection and attention!  

We love bees!!!!!  

 

 

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