What comes to mind when you think of the summer? A few tell-tale signs include warmer weather, vibrant flowers and greenery, and of course, observing more bees! While it’s easy to overlook the insects or take their responsibilities for granted, the truth is, there is so much importance to what they can do for our environment.
Unfortunately, today we’re seeing a rapid decline of the bee population, something that poses a threat to our environment and our ecosystem. Understanding the importance of bees and how they help us is just the start in helping to save our bees for a better future.
Today we’ll share four ways you can save the bees, but before getting into that, it’s important to recognize why bees are so significant!
How can bees benefit ourselves and our environment?
If there’s one thing you should know about bees it’s that they impact a large part of our day-to-day lives like the food that we eat. One of every three bites of food eaten worldwide was once a crop that depended on pollinators like bees.
There are many, many types of bees, but the western honey bee is the most prevalent species worldwide – and crucial to the function of our ecosystems. One of the most common things we know bees provide is honey, something that benefits not only them, but all of us as well since it can be used for food and medicinal purposes - and contribute to the economy.
From the food that we eat, to the very environments that we live in, bees play a major role in their success. However, factors like climate change, pesticides, and habitat loss are causing a large decline in the bee population - making it more important than ever to ensure that we act to save them.
So, what are some ways to save the bees?
Luckily, there’s action that we’re all able to take to save the bees – and activities to get your children involved in the effort.
- Say no to pesticides
Pesticides are commonly used to control insects and pests that may be causing harm to other plants or animals. The chemicals that are in pesticides can be very harmful to bees, other insects, and can even be harmful for us to consume as well. There are so many organic gardening alternatives to pesticides that can be used that contain safer ingredients. Careful research can present many of those options, as well as ways to create your own!
Think it’s hard to explain the concept of pesticides to your kids? Try referring to it as poison, or simply yucky stuff. A pesticide-free yard is not only healthier for bees – it’s healthier for kids and pets too. Invite your kids to help you make a “Pesticide Free” sign for your yard – your neighbors will thank you!
Shop Locally (For Honey!)
Nothing could be sweeter than treats sweetened with local honey for your little ones. When you share it with your kids, remember to tell them that “neighbor bees” made it, just for them!
- Plant bee-friendly flowers in your garden
Creating a beautiful space for both you and your bees to enjoy can be a fun thing to do in the summer. Not only will bee-friendly flowers create a stunning display in your garden, but they will also attract pollinators like bees to continue doing their job! Flowers like sunflowers, lavender, helenium and honeywort make wonderful options.
Invite your kids to help you in the garden, or if you don’t have a garden, create a window box. They’ll be thrilled to see their flowers bloom, and every time you see a bee, you’ll have an opportunity to talk about how they interact with the flowers!
- Stay informed!
For bees to play such a vital role in the way that we live, it’s important to stay informed about how they work and how to save them. There are plenty of networks and organizations dedicated to doing just that! The US National Native Bee Monitoring Research Coordination Network (RCN) is a USDA-funded effort to support efforts to monitor bee populations in the US. The Bee Conservancy is also a great nonprofit organization that was built on the basis of responding to the bee crisis. These are great places to educate more on this matter as well as get the best tips on ways to save the bees yourself.
Older kids may enjoy exploring these websites with you, while younger children may appreciate books and cartoons about bees, like “The Thing About Bees: A Love Letter.”
While the decline of bees can be a scary thing, there’s always a chance to take action and make sure you are doing your part to protect them before it’s too late. Looking to help spread the word even further? Our ‘Save The Bees’ T-Shirt is one way you or those in your life can start taking action quickly! Shop today.