***Disclaimer: This post was created in partnership with Whole Foods Devon to help build awareness of the role honeybees play in our food supply and how we can help make a difference in the alarming decrease of honeybee colonies. ***
Where does your food come from? How about those pretty flowers in your garden? Or the ‘weed’ flowers in your yard? Let’s have a quick review from school days. Many flowers require pollination in order to thrive and produce fruit. What pollinates the plants?
A small fraction of pollination occurs via wind but the majority of plants are pollinated by other insects, especially bees. The problem is our honeybees are dying. Why? How can you help save the honeybees?
With the increased use of insecticides being applied to crops, plants, and yards, we are seeing a decrease in bees. In fact, with all contributing causes of colony collapse (complete colonies dying off), the annual rate of honey bee loss in the US is over 30%.
The conclusion many studies have come to is that the increase in insecticides is directly impacting the health of our bees and many other beneficial insects. Loss of habitat and parasites are the other 2 main contributing factors to loss of complete honey bee colonies here in the USA.
It is estimated that 1 out of every 3 bites of food is directly impacted by honeybees. If we don’t have these important insects to pollinate our plants how will we grow the fresh whole foods we rely on? Where will we get the honey so many of us enjoy in our tea and desserts?
13 Tips for How You Can Help Save the Honeybees
- Limit insectides/chemical based pesticides you use in your gardens and yards.
- Buy organic when you are able.
- Grow plants bees love – a simple search of ‘plants bees like’ will give you so many plant options for your garden – herbs, flowers, and produce. Have a variety of plants that bloom throughout the seasons.
- Great simple list of bee friendly plants
- Leave the clover and dandelions for the bees rather than trying to rid your yard of them.
- Share the Buzz: Create and build awareness in your community on how every one can work together to create a welcoming environment for bees.
- Want to try something big? Become a beekeeper. This is something I would love to do if I owned my own home.
- Buy local honey from beekeepers who care for their honey bees. It tastes better too!
- Encourage the government to cut down on the allowed usage of insecticide use.
- ‘Bee’come educated.
- See a swarm? Let authorities know so they can contact a beekeeper to remove them safely.
- Shoppers can help support efforts in-store too! Buy a box of Cascadian Farms Buzz Crunch at Whole Foods and $1 (up to $100,000) will be donated to the Xerces Society.
- For more local initiatives check out Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild and Rodale Institute.
Whole Foods in the Philly area will be hosting a “Share the Buzz” Event with fun for the whole family on April 18, 2015. Bring the family out for an evening of fun and education on honeybees with tastings, demonstrations, and local bee partnerships. Follow #SharetheBuzz hashtag to see what’s happening.
Love honey? Stay tuned! Next week I am sharing a brand new recipe using local honey with you.