I’m sure we have all heard recently about how bees are being killed off by the thousands. Bees, along with other pollinators, are responsible for over 30% of the food we eat. There are some things you can do yourself to help the bees in your area thrive. Below are eight simple steps can take:
- Plant a habitat that is pollinator friendly: there are many native plants that attract pollinators. A quick search online will give you ideas on how to make your habitat more biodiverse while also creating areas of forage for birds, butterflies, and bees. Also, be sure to use organic methods of controlling weeds rather than chemical ones.
- Allow weeds to grow: there are many flowering weeds and clover growing in the typical North American yard. These areas are great for all pollinators. Never use chemical products that are meant to kill flowering weeds or clover.
- Manage your land organically: avoid all toxic pesticides, insecticides, and fungicides if possible. Having an organic garden supports biodiversity and life better. An organic garden also supports 50% more pollinators than nonorganic, conventional ones.
- Educate your community: help spread the word about practices that encourage pollinators such as bees. It may be as simple as providing educational materials to your neighborhood, or as complex as teaching classes on the importance of pollinators.
- If you live in the city, support green rooftops: you can create habitats for pollinators in urban areas by building green rooftops. Often times, the city Council will offer incentives for residents to build these pollinator-friendly habitats that support pollinators.
- Provide a place for bees to nest: one of the best ideas is to have beehives on your property. If you’re unable to do this, you can create a different sort of nesting site with sand areas where they can burrow or wood. Giving these pollinators a home is the second step in creating a great environment for the bees. There are many associations for local beekeepers in most areas of the country.
- Relocate beehives instead of destroying them: most local beekeeper associations are willing to remove hives from your property.
- Purchase only agricultural products that are certified organic: support organic gardening through your dollars. This not only supports the farms themselves but also supports the pollinators.
By working together, we can all make a difference for bees and other pollinators in our community.