Without bees, humans would likely not survive — or at least our existence would be vastly different. Bees provide essential pollination for about one-third of the world’s food crops. In order to provide a growing population with nutritious, high-quality food, we need bees. Unfortunately, climate change and the increase of pesticides are wreaking havoc on bee populations and bee colonies are dying off faster than they can reproduce.
While change will likely need to come from governing bodies at the state, federal, and international levels to solve the worldwide bee crisis, there are things that you can do right now to help local beekeepers in your neighborhood keep their colonies healthy, happy, and buzzing.
At The Pink Pigs, we love helping animals whether they are tiny bees or giant equines. We know how important bees are for pollinating the crops we use to feed not only ourselves, but also the 400-plus animals we support at Rooterville Animal Sanctuary as well. Keep reading to learn about how you can help support the bee population with cute bee and animal-themed jewelry or clothing and do your part to help the world!
Plant The Right Stuff
One of the best things you can do for bees and local beekeepers is to provide them with the nourishment they need to thrive. One of the reasons they are dying off is due to urban sprawl significantly reducing their food sources.
If your lawn is looking a little worse for wear, consider taking out all of your grass (or a good portion of it) and replacing it with flowering plants for bees. It will be less work for you to upkeep and the bees will get a little snack! So, what flowers do bees love? Try planting a variation of hyacinth, lilac, daisies, snapdragons, zinnias, coneflowers, lavender, marigold, and cosmos. Bees don’t particularly dislike any flowering plant, so go as crazy as you want. Bees even like herbs you can use in your kitchen like mint, chives, rosemary, and sage. You’ll help feed the bees and they’ll, in turn, help feed you!
Offer Them Something To Drink
If bees are attracted to your garden, you’re doing an awesome job! Now, go a step further by giving them some water to rehydrate after all of that foraging for nectar and pollen. A small birdbath with pebbles for the bees to crawl on is a great option. If water is too deep the bees can drown, so make sure that there are plenty of small stones or pebbles sticking out of the water so they have something to crawl on.
Avoid Pesticides And Weed Killers
Common pesticides are wreaking havoc on bee populations and are a main cause of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). CCD is a phenomenon where worker bees, who are wired to stay with the hive no matter what, abandon the queen and leave the colony. It is believed that non-lethal pesticides used on plants affect the memory, behavior, and habits of bees, making them act abnormally and not able to perform typical functions. Spraying Roundup on your weeds might give you a nicer-looking backyard, but it’s not worth it if you’re trying to help the bees.
Head To The Farmer’s Market
Local farmers depend on local bees to pollinate their crops. Local bees depend on local farmers for a food source. The more local your food is, the more likely it is that you will be indirectly benefiting the bees in your area by helping to keep nearby farmers thriving. Farmer’s markets are an excellent place to buy fresh, delicious fruits and vegetables.
Buy Bee Products
Some vegans are conflicted about whether or not to consume honey or use other bee products such as beeswax. We will let you make the final decision, but without the purchase of bee products, many beekeepers would be unable to continue caring for their bees. One of the best things you can do is purchase from local beekeepers rather than purchasing cheap honey at the store. Not only does this support bees in your community and give you a purer product than the mass-produced stuff at your grocery store, but small beekeepers need your business to grow their bee collection. Additionally, local beekeepers use ethical practices to collect honey and beeswax that ultimately keeps their colonies thriving. Best of all, it is believed that eating local honey can introduce local pollen into your system, reducing allergy symptoms due to a built-up tolerance to the allergens.
If you don’t want to consume bee-made products, or you want to just find more ways to support bees, you can also purchase bee-themed clothing and jewelry from our website! Wearing these pieces loud and proud is a great conversation starter! Next time someone says, “Cute bee shirt,” teach them about the importance of bees, or point them toward this blog so they can also learn how to help the bees.
Never Call An Exterminator To Get Bees Off Of Your Property
We all know how important bees are to the environment. That said, they can still be a little intimidating if you don’t want to get stung or if you have children. It’s completely fine to want bees removed from your property if they have built a hive there, just make sure you are calling the right person to help!
A pest exterminator will likely do just that to this “pest” — exterminate them. We don’t want that, we just want them off of the property. Go ahead and get in touch with a local beekeeper! Many beekeepers are happy to remove bees from your property and put them in a safe location, keeping the hive alive and together. You can often get in touch with local beekeeper groups through Facebook or Google around to try and find one in your area.
Learn And Share
Finally, take some time to learn all you can about bees, their importance to the human race, how human actions are impacting their survival, and the dangers of Colony Collapse Disorder. Educating yourself allows you to share your knowledge with others who might not realize how big of a deal it is that bees are dying off.
One place you can learn about honeybees is by visiting Rooterville Animal Sanctuary! All of the proceeds we make here at The Pink Pigs online boutique store goes directly to Rooterville to support the animals we care for, including our two beehives! At Rooterville, you can interact with the bees and learn how to make your yard more bee-friendly.
While you’re at it, check out our bee-themed jewelry, “Save The Bees” t-shirts, and other cute bee items. Wearing these items in the world can spark a conversation, and you might just convince someone else to help the bees, too!