How Can I Help The Bees?
Bumble bees on helianthus flower.
Most people by now, fully appreciate that bees need
help, and increasingly they are asking: What can I do? How can I help the bees?
Having campaigned for bees since 2008, it’s a huge relief to me that increasingly, so many people are wanting to help
these important pollinators.
Bees (and pollinators generally) are
not only vital to the ecosystem and to food production, they are endearing and
enchanting creatures in their own right.
Leafcutter bee visiting geranium flower.
How Can I Help The Bees?
Note that when you help the bees, your actions by
default, will most probably benefit a whole host of other creatures. So here are a few pointers:
- Most importantly, focus on the efforts you yourself can
make in your own garden. Even if you
only have a small space, or a few containers, you can still create feeding
stations for bees. Take a look at these
resources to get informed about the variety of plants you can add to gardens
and planters, and see this general information about creating a bee garden.
There are so many simple changes that can be made, which are very often overlooked. For instance, I very much recommend allowing clover to flourish in your lawn (see my page about lawns for bees for more ideas).
Allow clover to flourish in your lawn, it will help bees and save mowing!
- Encourage solitary bees, with a solitary bee house.
Make one yourself or purchase one - ensure it's sturdy and durable like this one pictured right which is available from Amazon US
and Amazon UK.
A bee house also makes a great gifts for loved ones!
How Can I Help The Bees In My Community?
Ask Your Council To Help Bees
Wool carder bee on lamb's ear.
- Some tips here. Public
pressure creates change – even if not overnight. Ask your friends to get involved, and see the
ideas on the link provided.
- You could also get involved with groups (gardening,
conservation etc) and suggest a community garden, a ‘bee festival’ to raise
awareness, or you could write a few words for a local newsletter.
Speak with your local garden centre and ask
them to stock more plants for bees, and to banish the use of insecticides such
as neonicotinoids, in the cultivation of the plants they sell. If you have children, encourage your school
to actively teach children about the importance of bees and other pollinators,
and to perhaps create a pollinator garden.
Lobby The Decision Makers
- Lobby your local council and politicians to do more to help bees and other pollinators, to cut the use of pesticides in public planting schemes,
and support genuinely better farming practices.
Chocolate mining bees mating.
Encourage Others To Help
Honey bee on Japanese anemone.
Inspire the next generation
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A few more thoughts....
to support organic if you can.
Why? Because buying organic helps
to support farming practice that is better for the environment, and at
ensures that particularly controversial pesticides that are toxic for
such as neonicotinoids, have not been used.
Even if you are on a limited budget it may be possible to purchase just
one or two things, at least it supports those farmers a little.
Better still, grow at least some of your own
food if you can – even just a few items in pots! And do
spread this excellent information from the Rodale Institute about the
performance of organic agriculture versus intensive methods. Nowadays, there are even people growing cut flowers on a small scale, and organically.
See my page
about going organic.
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