Be a Bee Advocate
I’m sure by now you may have heard about the missing Honey Nut Cheerios mascot “Buzz the Bee,” a move made by Cheerios®, part of General Mills company in environmental protest, or rather advocacy to help bring awareness to the decline in the bee population. Cheerios® removed Buzz to launch their #BringBacktheBees movement with the goal giving away 100 million wildflowers seeds only to exceed that goal by giving away 1.5 Billion seeds!
Be Inspired by Cheerios’s Movement!
Watch how General Mills and Honey Nut Cheerios® plan to help the pollinator populations.
“We Need the Bees: Cheerios® Initiative to Support Pollinators”
Before You Can help, You Should Know Why?
“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.” –Albert Einstein
Why are Bees Important?
Simply put, because they pollinate.
What’s Pollination? It is the transfer of pollen from the male part of the plant to the female part of the plant, to allow for fertilization. In other words, pollinators are crucial aids in plant reproduction.
Why are Bee Populations declining?
In a recent report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture states there were only 100,000 honeybee colonies in the U.S. in 2016 compared to about 4.5 million documented in 2006. Despite, there being 4,000 different bee species in just the United States, the dying of bee populations are a result of a combination of factors including:
- Climate Change
- Colony Collapse Disorder – pesticides, neonicotinoids, and chemicals:
“A new study out of Harvard University, published in the June edition of the Bulletin of Insectology puts the nail in the coffin, neonicotinoids are killing bees at an exponential rate, they are the direct cause of the phenomenon labeled as colony collapse disorder (CCD). Neonicotinoid’s are the world’s most widely used
- Habitat Loss
You would think bees and the agriculture industry are working on the same team, but the largest factor in bee habitat loss is the contrast between the needs of the pollinators and agriculture practices. Bees are experiencing habitat loss because of intensive farming practices. The use of pesticides, “monoculture-based farming practices, pristine green (but flower-barren) sprawling suburban lawns, and from the destruction of native landscape,” and urbanization are prominent drivers of bee population loss.
5 Sustainable Ways You Can Help
- Create a Bee and Other Pollinator Garden Plant native bee-friendly flowers and herbs in your garden, yard, planter or even just a window container this provides bees with habitat and a place to forage.
Here are few flowers and herbs to consider:
Spring – lavender, lilacs, and wisteria
Summer—Sunflowers, mint, rosemary
Fall—sage, verbena, and toadflax
- Buy Local Organic Food and Raw Honey
A direct way to help and support local beekeepers, local farms, and the overall community. Plus, this way, you have access to beekeeper or farmers, so you can meet them and ask about their sustainable practices.
- Realize that bees don’t want to sting you!
Bees are vegetarians all they do is forage on flowers and nectar. They don’t attack humans; they aren’t out to sting you. By understanding the nature of bees, we learn to respect them, instead of fear them.
- Weeds are Good
Dandelions and other flowering weeds are an excellent food source for bees and other pollinators! They may be a nuisance to your yard, but leaving just a few can go a long away
- Provide Water: Bee Bath & Bee Energy Drink
Bees and other pollinators need access to fresh, clean water. Fill a small bowl of water with marbles, glass stones, or twigs for bees to land on as they drink. From outside to help bees drink outside during the warm and hot months. Just make sure to maintain and refill the bowl with fresh water, so the bees know they can return to the same place each day.
In an article by The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, states
“Simply mixing around two tablespoons of white, granulated sugar with one tablespoon of water, and placing the combination in a small container like an egg cup among bees’ favorite flowers, will provide them with energy.”
This simple mixture works like a bee energy drink to help revive bees when they get exhausted from pollinating.