I recently took a communication college course. The base of the course was to strengthen communication on a personal and business level. Half of the grade was to be able to communicate by presentations. One of the student's presentations was about how bees are becoming extinct and it got me thinking how bees play a humongous part of our economy.
There are over 25,000 bee species in the world and they provide an important natural products and services. There are dozens species of bees native to the United States but only a handful of bee species are placed on the endangered list in which honeybees are one. There is no specific reason why honeybees are becoming extinct. The main two types are that parasites are harming the bees: tracheal and varroa mites. The parasites was introduced into North America in the 80's. New raised bees emerges with malformed wings and not able to fly.
Most plants are dependent on certain types of bees for reproducing. The honeybee is the most economically valuable species. These bees don't pollinate randomly and they can pollinate a thousand of plants daily. Honeybees are the sole producer of honey which is a valuable commodity for medicinal purposes. It can be used as a sedative, laxative or antiseptic.
Unfortunately, the population of bees is diminishing due to the pesticides used in commercial agriculture. According to the U.S. department of agriculture, there's a constant decrease in beehives each year. Bees and other pollinators bring in $15 billion of crops each year in the U.S. alone. Therefore, a decline in bee population means a decline in crop productivity. Where do you think that will leave the human population in 10, 15, or even 20 years?
We can help!! Here are 10 different ways that we can help save the bee population.
1. Provide lots of the right flowers over a long season. ~ provide a long season of nectar and pollen rich flowers for bees and other pollinators to feed on. ~ choose old fashioned blooms, cottage garden and herbs ~ include wonderful wildflowers
2. A little mud, a little bare ground, and a little water ~ Mason bees use mud for constructing their nests. If you see a little mound of mud in the lawn with a hole at the top, refrain from disturbing it and using chemicals on your lawn.
3. Tidy away dead stalks, don't burn them ~ bees can use hollow stems from plants and shrubs as their habitat.
4. Cut out the insecticides
5. Create and protect bee nest sites
6. Spread the word
7. Carefully select your honey
8. Before you become a beekeeper, do some research
9. Speak to your local council ~ tell them about the need to save the bees and ask them to stop the use of pesticides in public spaces and/or public owned and manage land ~ ask them to include more bee-friendly plants and shrubs, especially clover
10. Eat organic ~pesticides are used in agricultural on food crops which in up on the shelves of grocery stores
Understanding the need for bees within our economy is a huge plus. Let us do our part in helping to save the bees for our future generation.