According to published reports, like this story by National Public Radio, bees and beekeeping are under threat, and that’s bad news for the food chain – plants from apples to zucchini rely on them to pollinate and propagate.
In fact, bees are responsible for about one in every three bites of food we consume. Whether you’re a gardener or not, you can help.
Currently, there are more than 90 certified Bee Cities throughout the country that have pledged to make a difference in their communities, but you can start in your own back yard.
Best Plants for Spring: Spring blooms offer the first food for bees after a long winter. Some of the best plants to invest in include popular ones like Crocus, Hyacinth, Calendula and Wild Lilac
Best Plants for Summer: Summer offers a whole new season of blooming flowers for bees to feast on. Some of the best are Bee Balm, Cosmos, Snapdragons. Hosta and Echinacea.
Best Plants for Autumn: This is the last season for bees to feast before the cold winter sets in. For a bee-friendly fall, these flowers should do the trick: Zinnia, Witch Hazel, Goldenrod and Sedum.
Whichever flowers you choose, make sure your garden is blooming almost all year round. This type of variety will provide your local bees with pollen and nectar throughout the year and ensure their ability to thrive in your area.
If You Don’t Garden…
If you don’t have a green thumb…or you can’t plant on a fire escape or balcony, you can still help.
You may not like the way dandelions and clover flowers pop up on your lawn or not, those are two of the primary food sources for bees in the early spring. Spraying pesticides in your lawn to eradicate these flowers can not only take away a bee’s food source, they can actually poison bees in your area.
Support Local Beekeepers
If there’s a farmer’s market or a local beekeeper in your area, pay them a visit. This could mean purchasing their honey, volunteering to teach others about the practice, or even buying local produce that their bees helped pollinate.
Educate the Young
Take some time to teach your grandkids about the importance of saving the bees, and what they can do to help. Of course, that includes demonstrating – and teaching them – common common sense practices around bees, since a bee sting’s impact can range from ‘nuisance” to “deadly.’ Here is the rundown on symptoms, treatment and prevention from the Mayo Clinic.
To learn even more about saving the bees, visit:
Do you want to make your city bee-friendly? Tell us in the comments!
Photo: Patrick Brinksma for Unsplash