5 Things You Can Do to Help the Honey Bee
Honey bees are a very important part of the ecosystem of the Wild Blueberry barrens and the global food supply. Their population is also in decline. While the causes are unclear and the debates are endless, there are a few things you can do right now to help the honey bees in your neighborhood keep on buzzing.
We’ve collected five of our favorite simple things anyone can do to help the local honey bee population thrive. Adapting just one of these things into your routine can have a positive impact on your honey bee ‘hood’:
1. Buy local honey from a local beekeeper. Keeping your local beekeeper in business is good for the garden and the economy. There are also a number of new studies that are exploring the positive benefits of local honey on allergies. The taste of local honey is incredible; you will never be able to go back to commercial honey.
2. Plant less lawn and more bee-friendly flowering plants and herbs in your yard and garden. Vary the blooms so the honey bees can stay well fed all year long! Think crocuses in the spring, cosmos in the summer, and zinnias in the fall – explore more. Don’t have a garden? Container gardening can be just as helpful.
3. Water the honey bees. Fact – honey bees get thirsty too! Leave a shallow dish of water with sticks or pebbles so the bees can land safely and drink. Be sure to keep this stocked with fresh water and in the same place so the honey bees will know you’re a reliable hydration station.
4. Bee-friendly. Honey bees aren’t out to sting you. Their buzzing and flying around can make us nervous, especially those of us allergic to their sting. If you see a honey bee, just take a step back and let ‘em do their job. Wasps, hornets and yellow jackets don’t play as nicely, however, so beware!
5. Let your plants go to seed. If you have a vegetable garden at home – let your veggies go to seed after harvest. This helps honey bees stock up before the winter. Real bees hibernate over the winter and these late season blooms are essential for their long-term success.