8 Simple Ways You Can Help Save the Bees

A bee on a yellow flower.
  • Jul 29, 2020

Did you know that one-third of the world’s crop production is dependent on bees and other pollinators? Without bees, we wouldn’t have many of our favorite foods. Bees play such a vital role in our global food system, but in recent years, they have been dying at alarming rates. Luckily, there are ways we can help. Here are 8 simples ways you can do your part to help save the bees:

1. Plant pollinator-friendly flowers and plants to help feed the bees in your area. Bees get their food from the nectar and pollen in flowers and other plants. Just like humans, bees need a diverse diet to get all the vitamins and nutrients they need, so plant a variety of things to help keep them healthy. Find out what pollinator-friendly plants are native to your region—they are the most nutritious for bees and the most eco-friendly!

2. Don’t use pesticides—they are incredibly harmful to bees! Pesticide use is a major factor in the recent decline of bees. You should also try to eat local foods that are organic or grown without pesticides to support the health of bees in your area—or better yet, grow your own pesticide-free food! 

3. Don’t buy mass-produced commercial honey—its production is often harmful for bees. Instead, buy alternatives such as agave nectar, make your own vegan honey from apples, or buy from a local beekeeper who supports bee conservation and uses ethical, earth-friendly practices. 

4. Call a beekeeper rather than an exterminator if you have a bee infestation. They are trained to safely relocate them, rather than killing them. While you may not want the bees in your home, we need them elsewhere!

5. Leave the weeds in your yard. Large flowerless lawns are essentially food deserts for bees, who can only travel a short distance to find food. Leaving weeds such as dandelions, creeping charlie, and wild geranium in your lawn provides plenty of food for bees. Since many weeds are among the first flowers to bloom each year, they can offer bees fresh food for the first time after a long winter. Plus, you’ll save money, time, energy, and harmful chemicals by simply leaving them be!

6. Provide a water source for bees. Just like every other living creature, bees need water to survive! Put a small dish of fresh water near your flowers, and put something in it for the bees to land on such as twigs, pebbles, or a wine cork so they don’t drown. Don’t add sugar to it, though—this is a myth that can do more harm than good!

7. Donate to organizations that work to protect bees. The Center for Honeybee Research and Pollinator Partnership both support the health of bees and other pollinators through conservation, research, and education.

8. Spread the word! Talk to your friends and family about how they can help save the bees and why they should. Contact your elected officials about planting pollinator-friendly flowers in parking lots, highway medians, and other flowerless areas, and urge them to take action to protect bees in other ways, too. We can all play a role in saving the bees!

To learn more, check out this TED Talk from Marla Spivak or this video from MinuteEarth.

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