What Can We Do to Save the Bees?

Most of our favorite foods exist because of bees: Did you enjoy coffee this morning? Bees likely pollinated the coffee flowers. Eat an apple recently? You can thank a bee for that, too.

Part 1 of this series exposed the seriousthreats that are putting honeybees in danger. Wondering what we can do to save the bees? Read on!

1) Garden Organically – Honeybees are very susceptible to pesticides and insecticides. In your own yard, choose organic means of pest control rather than toxic chemicals. Use companion planting techniques and disease-resistant seed varieties to reduce the need to spray more potent compounds in your garden or around your landscape.

2) Avoid Neonicotonoids – “Neonics” are toxic chemicals that treat the seed before it’s planted. They essentially render the entire plant that grows out of that seed toxic to whatever insect feeds on it. Do not buy seeds treated with neonics, or plants that have been cultivated from them. Ask your garden center for help so you can avoid neonic plants, and encourage the garden center not even to carry them. Consult this chart from Beyond Pesticides, which lists common home and garden products containing neonicotinoids.

3) Avoid Insecticidal Dusts – When bees collect pollen or nectar from a plant dusted with insecticide, they can carry the insecticide back to the hive, where it can cause serious bee kills within the hive for many months. If you must apply insecticides, do so in the late evening or very early morning when fewer bees will be foraging, and when it is not windy.

4) Support Local Beekeepers – Local beekeepers are on the front lines of keeping honey bees alive. Support their efforts to reduce pesticide spraying in their area; drift from the spray can infiltrate their beehives and kill off the bees.

5) Provide Water – Bees need lots of fresh, clean, unpolluted water to help them make their honey. Is there room in your yard or on your patio to add a small pond with a fountain or water filter to keep the water moving while providing lots to drink for the bees?

6) Urge the U.S. EPA to Test Pesticides That Could Be Causing Bees to Die Off – The Environmental Protection Agency should test any and all pesticides for the impact they could be having on beneficial insects like bees. Here is an explanation of how the EPA can intervene to protect honey bees. (And here’s a petition you can sign to urge the EPA to protect bees.)

7) Plant A Variety of Blooming Plants – Choose clusters of plants that bloom at different times of the spring summer and fall to provide a steady source of pollen. Native plants like purple coneflower (Echinacea) and Chokecherry can be ideal.

8) Get Involved in Your Community – Encourage your neighbors to care for trees, flowers and bushes organically. Identify fields that your city or town can leave unmowed so that bees and other insects can feed on the pollen and nectar that will be available from weeds left to grow wild. Testify about the importance of protecting bees at your local city council or town hall meetings.

9) Buy Honey From Local Beekeepers – Local beekeepers are on the front lines of keeping honeybees alive. Support their efforts by buying their honey! You can find it online, at farmers markets and in natural and whole foods stores.

105 comments

Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla3 years ago

No bees no food!

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Glennis Whitney
Glennis W3 years ago

Great article thank you for sharing.

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Glennis Whitney
Glennis W3 years ago

Very Interesting, also don't plant any plants that will kill the bees, had a vine down south and when I found out it was bad for bees, was very quickly removed.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill3 years ago

Thanks, good tips

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Doug C.
Doug C.3 years ago

Honeybees are an invasive species in North America. They were never meant to be here and who knows how they have changed the natural order of things. Not saying we should intentionally wipe them out, but we shouldn't be so concerned if they disappear. There are plenty of other able pollinators out there. They just don't make food for us.

And the person above is totally correct. The photo is a fly, not a honeybee.

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David Thieke
David Thieke3 years ago

Thanks for posting this !

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Vicky P.
Vicky P3 years ago

thanks

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Kick Gas Lawn Care

In a few weeks I am going to over seed my backyard with white clover to replace the grass. It needs very littler mowing. Its drought tolerant and yes...It supports the bees ;)

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Becka T.
Becka T3 years ago

Thank you

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