Thinking back to when I was a child, I recall one of the signs of spring was the appearance of bees and butterflies as the weather turned warmer. I knew which plants to keep distance from as not to disturb them or give them reason to chase me across the lawn.
But as I have grown older, I notice less and less of the beautiful bees and I have come to realize that not everyone understands their importance to our survival, and therefore have no idea that they are slowly disappearing.
We must work together to save these beautiful little friends. They are responsible for the pollination of flowers, fruits, vegetables and trees. As honey bees gather pollen and nectar for their survival, they pollinate crops such as apples, cranberries, melons and broccoli. Some crops, including blueberries and cherries, are 90-percent dependent on honey bee pollination. One crop, almonds, depends entirely on the honey bee for pollination at bloom time.
Surprisingly, some people just do not realize how important bees are.
And we are killing them. We destroy their habitats, pollute the air, and kill their food sources such as dandelions (they may be a weed to you, but they are one of the first sources of food available to them at the start of spring), and we use pesticides on the grass and weeds, which is also toxic to them.
The good news is, there are ways to help them grow and survive:
- Stop using toxic pesticides such as Round up (which is also toxic to humans).
- Grow a wild flower garden for the bees to pull nectar from
- Provide water for the bees in a bird bath filled with stones so they do not drown
- Build them homes that are safe for the bees to create hives in.
- Allow herbs and vegetables to flower
A few years ago, as we learned about the bees and what they need, we stopped using pesticides on our dandelions and other wild flower “weeds” and allowed them to grow. We also provided a watering space for them so they have a source of hydration.
Have you noticed there are fewer bees, butterflies, lightening bugs and other insects?