Everyday Things You Can Do To Be Friendly to Bees

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Bees and other pollinating insects sometimes get a bad rap, but they’re also undergoing difficult times now, thanks to climate change, pollution, deforestation, and other crises. 

The problems bees are facing right now may seem challenging, but there are plenty of small everyday actions we can take to help them thrive. 

Why Pollinators Are Important

According to the National Park Services, pollinators are vital because they transport pollen from the male part of a flower to the female part. This then fertilizes the flower and allows it to breed seeds, plants, and/or fruit. 

Up to one-third of the food we eat can grow because a pollinator helped a flower bring these foods to life. 

In a study by the University of California, San Diego, honey bees were the most important pollinator in our planet’s ecosystem. Some of the study’s findings include:

  • Honey bees perform one out of every eight pollinating actions. 

  • Though native to Southern Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, honey bees that have been taken to other parts of the world through human activity have acclimated well to their new local climates. 

  • Honey bees also thrive in environments where they aren’t native and are often the dominant pollinators of these places. 

Honey bees aren’t the only pollinators. There are many different bee species, and other insects such as wasps, ladybugs, hornets, and butterflies also have a role in this process. Even bats, birds, and wind play a role in pollination, though their part is a bit more subdued. We need them all to thrive so that nuts, fruits, flowers, and plants continue to bloom.

Current Threats to Bees

An article from Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology found that pests and pesticides are threatening honey bee populations and that there have been losses of honey bee colonies and hives that continue to warrant explanation. 

A Penn State University study also found that climate change significantly threatened honey bee populations. Rain duration and weather were the most significant factors in whether or not bees could thrive. Hotter temperatures, less rain, and unpredictable weather are bad for bee health and abundance. 

Things You Can Do To Help Bees 

Thankfully there are things you can do to help bees in your community. Here are a few tips that are easy to add to any routine.

1Mow Your Lawn Less Frequently

Weeds and other wildflowers that grow by themselves on your lawn provide pollen and other food sources for bees. By decreasing the number of times you mow, you ensure these flowers are there for your local bees and allow more bees to thrive. Why? Because lawn mowers also kill bees and other pollinators that may not be able to get out from under the lawn mower in time.

2Decrease Your Use of Pesticides

A study by the University of California, Davis found that damage from pesticides may carry over into future generations of bees. Some pesticides affect bee reproduction and may even affect their development, much like pesticide exposure in humans. Decreasing pesticide use reduces these harmful effects on bees and allows native weeds to grow, providing bees with an additional food source. 

If you buy plants, ensure the words “​​neonicotinoid free” are on the label, indicating the plant is safe for bees.

3Talk to Your Local Government

Your town and county have a lot of say about how local parks are managed and pay attention to local citizens’ concerns. Talk to your local elected leaders about finding ways to make local parks and green areas more welcoming to bees: mowing the lawn less, avoiding pesticides, and planting flowers that attract bees during the blooming season, April through November. 

Tags: Environment

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Written By

Ingrid Cruz

Ingrid Cruz is a freelance writer, certified coffee-lover and loves a good joke. She's been published in The Lily, Business Insider, and Stylecaster. See Full Bio

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