SAVE THE BEES!
Even if you hate bees, you need them. Simply put, bees keep plants and crops alive. Without bees, humans wouldn't have very much to eat and March is a critical time for bees. Learn here how to help them...
Why do we need bees?
They are responsible for much of the fruits and veggies we love to eat! One third of our global food supply is pollinated by bees. That's a big job!
Here are some of the crops pollinated by bees: Almonds, apples, apricots, avocados, blueberries, cantaloupes, cashews, coffee, cranberries, cucumbers, eggplants, grapes, kiwis, mangoes, okra, peaches, pears, peppers, strawberries, tangerines, walnuts and watermelons.
Without bees, these crops would cease to exist.
"Anyone who cares about the health of the planet, for now and for generations to come, needs to answer this wake-up call. ...Fewer bees lead to lower availability and potentially higher prices of fruit and vegetables. Fewer bees mean no almonds, less coffee and less alfalfa hay available to feed dairy cows. ...We need good, clean food, and so do our pollinators. If bees do not have enough to eat, we won't have enough to eat. Dying bees scream a message to us that they cannot survive in our current agricultural and urban environments..." Marla Spivak, Entomologist
Why do they need help at this time of year?
This time of year is really screwy and the weather can mess with the bees! As the days get longer the queen will start laying more eggs and the colony will use more of its supplies of food for the brood. It is often at this time of year that they can die from starvation - due to inadequate stores of honey from the autumn.
Besides the natural ways that they struggle, us humans are destroying them with our use of pesticides, environmental degradation and pollution. They are dying at an alarming rate!
We MUST help them!
They need fuel! Let's all plant bee gardens...
According to The Honey Bee Conservancy, Plant flowers such as daisies and marigolds, rather than double flower tops such as double impatiens. Double headed flowers look showy but produce much less nectar and make it much more difficult for bees to access pollen.
Plant at least three different types of flowers in your bee garden to ensure blooms through as many seasons as possible. This will provide bees and other pollinators with a constant source of food.
Leave a patch of the garden in a sunny spot uncultivated for native bees that burrow. Some native bees also need access to soil surface for nesting. For wood- and stem-nesting bees, this means piles of branches, bamboo sections, hollow reeds, or nesting blocks made out of untreated wood. Mason bees need a source of water and mud, and many kinds of bees are attracted to weedy, untended hedgerows.
Avoid using herbicides or pesticides in the bee garden. They not only can be toxic to bees but also are best not introduced to children or adults that visit your garden. Ladybugs, spiders, and praying mantises will naturally keep pest populations in check.
Bees need a place to get fresh, clean water. Fill a shallow container of water with pebbles or twigs for the bees to land on while drinking. Make sure to maintain the container full of fresh water to ensure that they know they can return to the same spot every day in your bee garden.
You need only a small plot of land for a bee garden—it can even be a window container or rooftop—to create an inviting oasis for bees. Every little bit can help to nurture bees and other pollinators.