I'm often asked why I spend so much energy trying to save the bees. Funny enough, my love for bees started with a series of painful stings. When I was 4 ½ years old I got stung by two bees in one week. Unsurprisingly, this experience left me terribly afraid of bees. In an effort to help me get over my fear, my parents encouraged me to do some research into the ecological role of honey bees. My research revealed how incredibly important bees are to sustaining healthy ecosystems. I also learned that bees are dying at an alarming rate. That day, I decided that I was going to do everything in my power to help save them.
Bee conservation is critical because bees contribute so much to our ecosystem. Bees pollinate one out of every three bites of food we eat. They contribute over 16 billion dollars to the US agricultural economy each year, and the honey bee (also known as Apis mellifera) are most relied on for agricultural pollination. But there are over 20,000 species of bee worldwide! Colony collapse disorder, pesticide usage, and habitat destruction are decimating bee populations around the world. We must all do what we can to save both the bees and all the wonderful foods they help us produce. Check out my next blog post to learn more about the causes and potential solutions to the most serious threats to bees.
In the meantime, there are five things we can all do to help save the bees!
1. Bee-informed. Read as much as you can about honeybees and other pollinators!
2. Buy local honey. The backyard beekeeping movement is here to say! Support local bee-keepers.
3. Mix it up. Plant bee-friendly flowers with different colors, shapes and bloom times.
4. Don’t spray it! Avoid using herbicides or pesticides in the garden. Ladybugs, spiders, and praying mantises will naturally keep pest populations in check.
5. BeeSweet. Did you know that I donate money from the sale of my lemonade to organizations fighting hard to save the honeybees through my Healthy Hive Foundation? Visit my Where to Buy page and Buy a Bottle, Save a Bee! 6. Share the Buzz. Bee-friend me on Facebook. Share my facts, stories and videos. Social media is an awesome way to help spread the word.