Many people have the wrong idea about bees: they think they're annoying little pests who are out to get them with their painful stingers. But bees are actually one of the most important parts of sustaining human life -- bees play a key role in ensuring humans have enough food to eat and a green planet to live on. Sadly, bee populations are on a decline. So what can you do to help?
Why Should People Care About Protecting Bees?
People often severely underestimate the importance of bees. The reality is that bees are one of the most important creatures when it comes to having sustainable food sources. Take a second to think about some of your favorite fruits and vegetables: apples, carrots, broccoli, raspberries, mangoes, peaches, watermelon… tasty, right? Well, without bees we wouldn't have any of these delicious foods, and many more. Because of bees, harvests of fruits and vegetables can be increased by up to 71% -- so if you don't want to lose your favorite fruits and veggies, then you should start caring more about the bees.
Unfortunately, there's no one reason bee populations seem to be declining. For several years now, beekeepers have noticed the bee populations slowly but steadily decreasing. A few commonly thought causes of decreased bee populations include:
- Climate change
- Habitat destruction
- Poor nutrition
As you can see, there are several factors contributing to the loss of bee populations around the world. Not only do bees help pollinate pretty flowers and produce yummy honey, but they are essential for the production of food. Without bees, the human population would slowly lose access to their favorite nuts, fruits, and vegetables. So instead of swatting away the next pesky bee that flies near you, take a moment to think about the work the bees do for us humans -- and maybe change a few habits that can help protect them.
3 Easy Ways You Can Help Protect the Bees
While it is tragic that the bee populations are continuing to decline, there are, fortunately, some really easy ways you can help protect the bees right from your home.
Ditch the pesticides. One of the leading causes of bee deaths is pesticides. Yes, pesticides keep harmful pests away from your garden. But what many home gardeners don't think about is that pesticides also hurt bees, who are only trying to help your garden flourish. So instead of using harmful chemicals, go for a more natural approach to avoid hurting your bee friends.
Buy local honey. Next time your bottle of honey runs out, don't go buying honey in bulk from the grocery store. Beekeepers work hard to ensure their bees are happy, healthy, and thriving. And with the sustainable methods beekeepers use, their honey is more valuable than ever. Buying honey from local beekeepers will allow you to know you're making a good choice to help the bees.
Choose flowers carefully. If you're planning on buying flowers to plant in your yard, keep the bees in mind when picking out your plants. If you choose native plants, you'll be encouraging the bees to come around and get their pollinating done. Additionally, always make sure you have flowers in bloom each season. Contrary to popular belief, there are some bee species that are out and about all year long -- so make sure you have some flowers available for them.
While it may not seem like changing a few simple things around your home will do much for the bees, every little bit of help makes a difference. So don't kill or harm the bees around your home. Instead, make a nice habitat for them, put out some sugar water on hot days, and bee grateful that they're here to provide us with our favorite foods.