Bees are vital to our food supply. If we lost our planet’s honeybees, we would lose a way of life. Bees pollinate our fruits and vegetables, and this process is responsible for much of the food we eat. Not only do we eat these plants, but animals eat them, too.
Bees also keep 90% of wild plants alive. If we say goodbye to bees, we say goodbye to fields of flowers, clothes made of cotton, and nearly all of the food in our gardens and fields. Bees need to thrive, and they need our help to do it. Every winter, the earth loses an average of 30% of the bee colonies. Pesticides used on the plants that they use for food, in addition to viruses and lack of available food sources, continue to wreak havoc on the lives of honeybees. If people don’t pay close attention to this issue and change some aspect of their ways of life, this problem will continue to worsen until the human race is forced to adjust to a completely new, less fruitful earth.
Luckily, it’s easy to help out. Simply by planting flowers that provide helpful nutrition to bees can make a world of difference for the bee population, while beautifying your home. Plant things like yarrow, sweet clover, sunflowers, purple coneflower, black-eyed Susan, asters, golden rod – there are many varieties that will help. When you plant these flowers, you know that you are adding a bright, gorgeous touch to your property, and giving you a clear conscience, because you are doing your part to help. And, of course, keep chemicals out of your yard to if you don’t want to hurt our buzzing buddies.
You can also create or purchase a bee hive for bees to have a safe, secure home. Hives can be decorative and don’t take up much space, so they’re a great, simple way to help out. (Coming soon to Lehmans.com: beekeeping supplies!) Bees are thirsty creatures, so having small containers of sugar water outside for them to sip from also helps.
Buying raw honey and supporting farmer’s markets is also great for bees. Honey contains antioxidants that offer many health benefits. Consuming raw honey helps reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease, and is good for your gut. It also makes a great facial: grind oatmeal and brown sugar into a fine powder, add raw honey and stir well. Wet your face with a little warm water and apply the facial scrub, gently massaging. Rinse thoroughly.
Please work to benefit the bees, not only for our black and yellow friends, but for bee-helpers (that’s all of us), too. So the next time you’re deciding what to plant or where to shop, keep the bees in mind.