Updated: Mar 19, 2019
We have all heard about it, read about it, and maybe even retweeted about it. The bees are dying, and it’s a big fucking deal. To keep it simple, bees keep our Earth green. They pollinate flowers and fruits to help guarantee new generations. By doing this, they are also helping guarantee the production of oxygen... you know, that whole CO2 conversion thing that plants do to provide breathable air. These plants also provide a healthy habitat for other types of animals that keep the circle of life going.
Bees are the one of the most important pollinators in the world.
Around 80% of US crops are dependent on honey bees.
Honey bees pollinate clover and alfalfa, which are used to fed cattle. So, No bees = No food for Cattle. No Food = No cattle. No cattle = No meat and milk products. So say goodbye to cheese, butter, milk, and all that.
If you’re vegan, you don't give a fuck about that but do you care about their life.
Even if a crop is not directly pollinated by a bee, the crop still benefits from being in an environment where the bee does their work.
Biodiversity = flourishing crops
The Birds, the Bees and Pollination.
It wasn’t until I was in my adult years did I finally understand why the sex conversation is called “the birds and the bees.” Truth be told, I didn’t understand and I didn’t care so I never asked... until one day it fucking clicked. Remember science class around the 5th grade? We learned all about the organs of a flower. The pistil, which contains the female parts and the stamen, which contains the male parts. A bird or bee lands on the flower and drinks its nectar; as this happens, he ideally helps get a little pollen from the male parts to move down to the female parts to fertilize the seeds hidden below inside the ovule (ovary). Or better yet, the bird/bee flies off to the next flower, does the same but this time, leaves a little pollen from the other flower behind to cross pollinate, which creates stronger plants. This is how generations of flowers, herbs, crops and other types of plants continue.
And that Ladies and Gents, was our first introduction to sex, and we didn't even know it. Well, at least I didn't. If for some reason you still don’t understand the urgency of saving the bees and the importance of their job as pollinators, I’ll give you one more antidote to meditate on. 40% of bee colonies died last year alone. 40 fucking percent. So now that I scared you a bit, let's get into how we can help our buzzy friends. Below are 5 ways anyone, anywhere can help save the bees for practically free.
Tip #1. Plant flowers anywhere and everywhere. Be your neighborhood friendly secret gardener.
Right now is the PERFECT TIME. Spring is upon us and gardening tools are in abundance. You can get seeds at the dollar store or Target for a very reasonable price, like a $1.00 a packet or less. So buy a few packs of wildflower seeds, bring a bottle of water and take a walk around your neighborhood and plant seeds in patches of public land or wasteland. Just scratch at the ground a bit, spread your seeds, cover with dirt, water and then let nature do its work. You’ll improve the neighborhood by adding beautiful and fun flowers to it and the bees will thank you for it by telling their bee friends. Find out how bees exchange yelp reviews on neighborhood gardens in the next tip. Next week o March 20th, is #plantaseedday "a national campaign to get students, teachers and families to take a simple action to plant a seed. Click the link to read more and pledge your seeds!
Sunflowers, lavender and zinnias are all bee loving plants and flowers. Click here for more flowers and herbs that are bee friendly bees.
Tip #2. Create a Water Station
So bees get thirsty! Doing all that flying, drinking and dancing (yes dancing) a bee gets parched! You can create a small and sweet water station for the bees and birds in a shallow bowl. If you want to get real fancy, add a few rocks or seashells (we’re tropical over here!) so the bees can easily climb in and out of the water bowl. Bees and butterflies also love a mud puddle, because the soak up nutrients from the soil, so feel free to put it on the ground near some sweet sunflowers that are growing in your garden. You can also add some sugar to your water bowl, you know bees love their sweets!
Did you know that when bees find a location with a great spread of flowers, food, and water; they will return to the hive, perform what is called a "waggle dance" that provides info about the distance, direction and even details on the location. So if you see bees returning to your garden, know that means you got a 5 star yelp review!
Tip #3. Don’t pull dandelions and other weeds
Like most of you, pulling dandelions and making wishes was on of my first rituals. Pull a freshly seeded dandelion, close your eyes, make a wish and blow. Little did we know, we were actually spreading seeds to grow… which is a pretty symbolic if you think about it.
For our busy bee, dandelions are a source of food. When Spring is just getting started, dandelions and other weeds are sometimes the only food source for bees emerging from their nests and homes. So this spring, let those weeds grow and give your bees an early spring brunch. And when those dandelions have turned white and dead, go ahead and pull them and make a wish. You’ll be guaranteeing food for the bees next year and wishes for everyone.
Tip #4. Keep part of your garden ‘wild’ and Join the New York Bee Sanctuary
Keeping up with the theme of allowing weeds to grow undisturbed, go the extra mile and leave part of your garden wild. Don’t trim, don’t thin, nothing, let nature do her thing. A wild garden or a wild part of the garden has tons of benefits for the environment. First, it allows for weeds to grow freely which provides food for bees and other pollinators. A wild area of the garden also provides shelter and homes for all types of creatures, including the bees. Native plants have the opportunity to grow and flourish as does native bugs, native bees and native animals. So let it go and let it grow.
The New York Bee Sanctuary
If you have a garden, even an indoor one, you probably meet the requirements to certify your garden area as a bee sanctuary. The New York bee sanctuary has an amazing program where you can certify your garden as a bee sanctuary. There are only a few requirements, which are pretty easy to meet and even if you’re plants are in a pot, you can still be eligible to participate. Click on the link and read how you can certify your garden or even office garden as a bee sanctuary. Us sisters at the Goddess Project are already working on getting our individual gardens certified and you should too!
Click the link to check out certifying space in your garden as a been sanctuary. Click the link. http://www.newyorkbeesanctuary.org/certification/
Tip #5. Don’t Kill Them, please.
I know that there are a lot of people who just don’t fuck with bugs, especially when they fly so I won’t try and sway you but you don’t have to kill them. You may not be interested in trying to distinguish whether it is a bee or a wasp and if you are in no position to figure it out… MOVE. Hornets and wasps can be ass holes and dangerous but they look much different that the bee. Now if you know it’s a hornet, and that fucker keeps coming for you (because sometimes they will) do what you gotta do… but other than that, please please, for the love of Avocados, don’t kill the bees.
Remember, bees only get ONE sting per life. If they sting you they die, so think about how extremely desperate and threatened something needs to feel to kill themselves to defend themselves. A bee is not going to sting you because it’s a mood but a wasp will… And before anyone goes on a wasp killing spree, wasps are super important too, they are nature’s pest control. For insects like shore flies who pick at crops like lettuce and celery they eat them up and allow us to have our salads; free from those tiny flies.
Sources. Read more about the importance of bees.
Written by: Amanda