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Bees are important to the food chain for humans around the world. Perhaps this is why bees have recently been declared “the most invaluable species on the planet.” Unfortunately, the world’s bee population is threatened. Colony collapse syndrome has been killing bees in record numbers – and nobody is sure why. Even worse, as politics come into play, saving the bees looks to be an uphill battle.
There is much work to be done when it comes to reversing climate change and saving the bees, but that’s no reason to feel hopeless. Luckily, I’m here to tell you that there are many ways that we, as individuals, can work together to help boost the bee population.
One great way to start is by creating your very own pollinator garden – right in your own backyard. Whether you’re an experienced gardener, a hobbyist, or just looking to do your part to save the bees, here are some tips to help you get started.
Because bees get thirsty on hot summer days, it’s always a good idea to start with a water source. If you only have a small garden or yard, even the simple act of just leaving a small amount of water outside can help a thirsty bee. Just make sure your water source is shallow enough that it will not trap or drown your smaller bee friends.
If you’re interested in creating your own backyard garden that encourages pollinators such as honeybees, you will also want to consider a food source for the bees. Consider whether you will plant perennials, which are flowering plants that return year after year, or annuals, which die after only one season.
Additionally, consider allowing dandelions, deadnettle, and other weeds to grow wild in one small section of your garden or yard. Bees love to munch on weeds, and some of them – such as deadnettle – have even co-evolved to assist bees in pollinating plants.
Of course, your gardening hobby will do more than just benefit the bees. As it turns out, gardening is good for you, too. This soothing hobby can help you unwind – and might even come with some mental and emotional health benefits.
Karen Lanier, author of the book The Woman Hobby Farmer: Female Guidance for Growing Food, Raising Livestock, and Building a Farm-Based Business, says gardening has similar benefits to meditation. It helps us slow down, pay attention, and have an immersive experience while we become one with nature.
Best of all, we can enjoy these benefits while knowing that we’re helping the planet that we call home. For best results, Lanier recommends taking a wise, sensical and compassionate approach to working with the earth.
Given the profound role that bees play in our food chain, a world without bees is not a world that any human wants to live in. Therefore, it is important that we each do our part to help the bee population. In turn, we will be helping our planet – and ourselves.
What do you think we can do to help save the bees? Leave a comment below and let us know.