The bee population has been on a steep decline for decades. Because of the effects on raw materials and food supply, people are starting to see the need to help, especially since these insects— along with pollinators such as birds and butterflies— are needed to effectively sustain the world’s food supply.
In 2015, the U.S. government have issued a new strategy on how to alleviate the dropping bee population by promoting awareness on bee health. With that said, some people might think that it is the government’s responsibility to solve these kinds of problems.
But Ed Spevak, the director of the Center for Native Pollinator Conservation at Missouri’s St. Louis Zoo, explained that regular people can also help. He, along with other apiary experts, explained that there are 7 things you could do at home to save bees and other pollinators.
- Go for Native Plants
One of the most important things you should remember when attempting to plant for bees is to go native. Experts explained that bees in your area are more likely to survive with plants that are also from the locality as they have co-existed since time immemorial. Even so, they also recommend diversity in your plants both for the bees and your garden.
- Make It Bloom All Year
Making your garden bloom all year means you should have a couple of plant species that bloom in spring, summer, and autumn. This is because there are bees that are active all year round, which would need sustenance from your garden. There are also those that may only be out-and-about in April and May or July and August, so it is best to be prepared no matter how diverse your beehive is.
- Regulate Your Use of Mulch
Using mulch is beneficial for your plants, which means it also indirectly helps the bees. Still, it is best to leave some bare ground for bee species that require soil to raise their young in. With that said, be sure to save some mulch-free areas in case your backyard beehive have this kind of pollinators around.
- Keep the Queen Happy
The queen bee varies from one bee species to another. For example, bumblebees are different from honeybees in the sense that their queens are born annually and need a place to hibernate during the winter. When spring comes, queen bumblebees will need nectar and pollen to establish their colony, so be sure to do have something on your garden for their sustenance.
- Be Wary of the Chemicals You Use
Chemicals such as pesticides and insecticides don’t only kill harmful insects, they may also harm pollinators. If you’re using these substances for your garden, the bee population may not thrive. With that said, it is best to be wary of chemicals you use to avoid harming the pollinators.
- Avoid Weeding Your Garden
Weeding your garden may seem like a good idea if you’re after aesthetics, but experts in bee population recommend refraining from doing so. This is because some plants considered as weeds like dandelions can provide much-needed food source for the bees. On top of that, some of this undervalued flora can serve as natural medicine for humans as well.
- Educate Yourself
One of the best ways to help avoid bee extinction is education. Like any other type of problem, knowing its history, cause, development, and solution is possible only through research. Even better, learn about these things with your children to help them understand that bees aren’t pests. Instead, teach them that bees are friends who help grow plants that serve as our food.