Why You Should Care About Dying Bees

Bees are foundational to sustainable life on earth
Photo courtesy of Unsplash by Dominik Scythe

Dying Bees is an Alarming Message To The Planet

You’re probably already aware of the recent decline of the world’s honeybee population. Bees play an indispensable role in the world’s food production. Bees are responsible for the pollination of many plant species, including our agricultural crops. As you can imagine, dying bees, and their disappearance is already being felt throughout the food chain.

The effect of climate change on bees

As important as the bees are, they’ve also been unexpectedly dying in shocking numbers lately. The culprit is unknown, but many experts (NASA included) believe it could be related to climate change. According to one NASA scientist, the health of a beehive is a sensitive indicator of the health of our planet, specifically in relation to climate change.

If you don’t already care about the world’s bee population, this alarming data might change your mind. A recent study showed that bees are having trouble migrating into cooler areas as global temperatures rise. From 2016-2017, this led to the disappearance of one third of agricultural bee colonies in the United States alone. Shockingly, that was a slight improvement from the previous year, when beekeepers lost nearly half of their colonies.

What You Can Do To Help Bees Survive

So, what can we as individuals do to reverse this alarming trend? For starters, you can protect the bees that are living in your own backyard. Stop using harmful pesticides. Avoid killing weeds or using pesticides on your lawn. Bees love eating dandelions and other weeds that we typically think of as “pests.” The harmful chemicals in weed killers and other pesticides could also harm your bee friends, so they’re best avoided.

Bees Get Thirsty

Start leaving them a source of water to drink. (Yes, bees get thirsty, too.) You could also go the extra mile by creating a bee bath in your garden. Assuming you have enough room, you could line a shallow bowl or plate with rocks. Add just a small amount of water, but leave the rocks dry. This is where the bees will land in order to drink the refreshing water supply.

For Gardeners

If you’re a beginner gardener, you can let one corner of your property grow wild. This will encourage more visits from bees. Another option is to start a small garden in a small outdoor space, specifically designed to attract bees. Bees love plants such as wildflowers and flowering herbs. Choose plants with long blooming cycles, and try to group the same plants together.

If you’re not a gardener, don’t worry. You can still do your part to help. Shop at farmers markets to support local farmers. Consider purchasing only local honey. If you can afford it, try donating to an environmentally conscious organization that is working to protect the environment – and the bees – from climate change.

Climate change affects our flowers. What affects our flowers affects our bees. And what affects our bees inevitably affects us. We cannot stay silent about dying bees any longer. As individuals, as communities, and as a human population, we have a duty to save dying bees before it’s too late.


Guest Post by Gus Stewart 

 from Gardenable.org