9 Ways Large & Small to Help Save Honey Bees

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National Honey Month just wrapped up, which means we’ve got bees on the brain. Without these industrious pollinators, produce shelves everywhere would look a lot barer, and we’d have a hard time finding high-quality fruit for our organic snacks. Being a friend to the bees is especially important when you consider that since 2006, the USA’s commercial honeybee population has suffered a 40% loss, according to Greenpeace.

Honey Bee Populations Are Declining

Around the world, the situation is also dire. In the UK, wild honeybee populations have declined more than 45% since 2010, and in China loss of bees has led some farmers to hand pollinate crops. What’s killing them? Experts cite three key causes: Insecticides, Urbanization (which leads to habitat destruction) and global warming. Luckily, there’s a lot that we can do to protect this vulnerable population. Here are some ways large and small that you can make a difference.

9 Ways To Protect & Save Honey Bees

1. Buy Organic

Insecticides are a key cause of honeybee decline. Buy organic to support farming practices that don’t use these harmful chemicals. If what’s on these foods is killing bees, you can imagine what these toxins are doing to your body.

2. Garden Organic

There are plenty of ways to ward harmful pests off your tomato crops without breaking out the insecticide. Here are a few great natural solutions.

3. Plant Their Favorite Flowers

As cities grow, less wild landscape means bees sometimes have to travel great distances to find food. Help them out by planting their favorite flowers in your garden. Here’s a list by season of flowers to consider.

4. Buy Local

Local beekeepers and farmers are far more likely to engage in helpful honeybee-supporting practices than commercial producers. If you’re not sure, ask at your local farmer’s market.

5. Become a Beekeeper

Yes, we understand that this isn’t for everyone, but if you have the space and the interest, becoming a beekeeper can be a fun hobby and a great way to make side cash by selling honey. Plus, there’s likely where you can meet cool people to help you get started.

6. Adopt a Hive

Much like a CSA, adopting a hive is a way to support a local beekeeper and receive a sweet return. Because beekeepers lose a portion of their hives every year, and it is expensive to replace bees (not to mention the loss in production), adopting a hive is a way to keep conscious beekeepers afloat.

7. Set up a Watering Hole

Bees get thirsty, just like the rest of us. Unlike us though, finding a good water source isn’t as easy as turning on the faucet. Busy bees can literally work themselves to death by becoming dehydrated and then not being able to muster the energy to find water. Create a spot in your garden where they can fuel up. Here’s how.

8. Spread the Word

Share this post with your friends. Have conversations about bee-promoting practices with gardeners and farmers.

9. Sign a Petition.

Sign this Greenpeace petition banning bee-killing pesticides and unsustainable industrial agriculture and promoting ecological farming. The more people who sign, the more influence we’ll have to ask governments and companies to act in the bees best interest.

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