“We depend on pollinators for over a third of the fruits and vegetables we eat,” said filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg on the TED stage, urging a generation to protect our honeybees and other pollinators from the looming threat of Colony Collapse Disorder—a mysterious affliction that threatens the lives of beehives around the world. It is paramount that we answer the question of how to save the bees right now!
“Many scientists believe it’s the most serious issue facing mankind,” concluded Louie. “It’s like the canary in the coalmine. If they disappear, so do we. It reminds us that we are a part of nature and we need to take care of it.”
Beyond just making delicious honey, bees and other pollinators help to pollinate the world’s plants, which means that they help new plants continue to grow and existing plants continue to thrive–many of which help to grow the food we humans eat.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the more practical ways you can support pollinators in your neighborhood.
Don’t Use Pesticides
The biggest, most immediate thing that you can do is to not kill your local pollinators. This can be tough, but rest assured that bees aren’t looking to sting you when they wake up in the morning. Being stung is almost always the result of swatting, attacking, or mistakenly stumbling upon a hive.
This video shows how scientists at Purdue University have found connections between pesticides and the death of honeybee colonies.
“Neonicotinoid insecticides are used to manage insect pests on fruits and vegetables that also rely on pollination. In addition, these crops frequently neighbor and are rotated with large acreage field crops containing neonicotinoid seed treatments such as corn, resulting in potential non-target exposure of honey bees to insecticides.”
Safely Move Hives
If you have an entire hive, don’t exterminate the colony! If you do have to remove a hive due to location or size, the best way to do that is to call your local removal service and remove it without killing the bees inside.
This usually consists of puffing smoke onto the nest to comfort the bees before sucking them into a vacuum container. That container is then taken to somewhere outside of your property where the bees can continue to flourish.
Texas Bee Works illustrates the whole process in this video. “The goal of every live bee removal is to safely remove and relocate as many bees from the colony as possible,” they explain.
Honeybee Hive Removal – Owl House
Plant Pollinator-Attracting Flowers
Planting buttonbush, angelica, ornamental onion, and the herb Borage will all attract pollinators to your garden. The healthier you can make your local ecosystem for pollinators, the better all the plants will be in your neighborhood!
If anyone asks you how to save the bees, you should have some great answers for them after reading this article!
How to attract bees to your garden – CaliKim29 Garden & Home DIY