Bees are an integral part of our food production system, and without them it would be extremely difficult–if not next to impossible–to hand-pollinate our crops. For this reason, beekeepers play a crucial role. What is it exactly that they do? Among many responsibilities, beekeepers maintain bee colonies, keep hives and bees healthy, and most importantly, aid in the growing fight against colony collapse disorder — a constant threat to the bee population. While any fellow beekeeper would encourage you to consider starting your own hive, here are a few easy ways to help the bees in your area.
Give them a variety of plants
Bees love having a variety of plants to choose from, so if you have the room in your yard, you can plant anything from wildflowers to vegetables to evergreen shrubs. You can also set out a small bowl of water for the bees to get a drink; just make sure you put rocks in it for them to land on. If you’re new to gardening or landscaping and aren’t sure of the right terminology or how to get started, check out this helpful guide.
Support local farmers
Head to your local farmer’s market to support their efforts, especially if they’re also beekeepers. Buying produce from a farmer in your community can help support their bee colonies as well and keep them safe all year long. Plus, eating local honey can help with allergies and other health issues.
Get the community involved
Getting your community involved in saving the bees is a great way to get to know your neighbors and rally their support for a great cause at the same time. You might start a community garden, or hold a fundraiser that raises funds for a local beekeeper and spreads awareness. The key is to spread the message and recruit help.
Give beekeeping a try
Beekeeping truly isn’t as difficult as you think. In fact, it takes the same amount of time and effort to tend to a vegetable garden as it does to keep a hive thriving. If you think you’d like to give it a go, contact your local beekeeper’s association — they will be more than willing to help you get started. If you are a little wary of starting this venture on your own, toss around the idea of starting a neighborhood hive.
Bees are tiny, amazing little creatures who have a bad reputation, so it’s important to help change the view your friends and family may have of them. Share your ideas on how to help the bees in your community thrive and how others can make a positive impact
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