Updated: May 8
Bees play a vital role in our ecosystem, pollinating plants and ensuring our food supply remains abundant. Unfortunately, bee populations are declining due to habitat loss, pesticide use, and disease. Here are ten ways you can support your local bee population, from simply leaving your grass bare to becoming a beekeeper yourself:
1. Plant native flowers and plants. Bees are attracted to various flowers and plants but prefer native species. Planting native flowers in your garden or yard can provide bees with a source of food and habitat. Don’t forget to do your research beforehand, however!
2. Avoid using pesticides. Pesticides can be harmful to bees and other pollinators. If you must use pesticides, choose products labeled safe for bees. It is also essential to encourage your neighbors to do the same, as runoff can contaminate your yard without your knowledge.
2. Provide nesting habitats. Bees need a place to nest, and you can help by providing nesting habitats such as bee houses or simply creating a bare patch of ground for ground-nesting bees. When doing this, it is essential to avoid mowing your lawn as this could disturb ground-nesting bees and encourage them to find shelter elsewhere.
3. Provide a source of water. Bees need water to survive, so providing a shallow water source such as a bird bath or small pond can be helpful and add a great addition to your yard!
4. Buy local honey. Buying honey from local beekeepers can help support local bee populations and promote sustainable beekeeping practices. Not to mention the health benefits (you may even see your pollen allergies are not as bad).
5. Support organic agriculture. Organic farming practices can be more bee-friendly, as they avoid pesticides and rely on natural pest control methods. Organic food is also better for your health, a win-win.
6. Reduce your use of plastic. Plastic pollution can harm bees and other wildlife. Reducing your use of plastic products can help reduce plastic pollution and support bee populations. Here in Colorado, our grocery stores just banned plastic bags, but you can buy a reusable bag in any state, regardless of the laws.
7. Spread the word. Educate your friends and family about the importance of bees and the ways they can support local bee populations. The more people that know, the easier and better we can protect our bees!
8. Get involved in local conservation efforts. Many organizations work to protect bees and their habitats. Getting involved in these efforts can help support local bee populations and the success of the efforts as a whole; you never know how valuable you can be to a bee!
9. Support policies that protect bees. Contact your elected officials and urge them to support policies that protect bees and their habitats, such as funding conservation efforts and pesticide use restrictions. Most importantly, don’t forget to vote in your local elections!
By taking these steps, you can help support your local bee population and contribute to the health of our ecosystem. The bees will thank you!