With the heat of the summer just ahead of us, we’re all getting antsy to spend our days outdoors! Whatever is on your agenda for the summer, something to keep in mind is that it’s important for us to do our best to take care of our buzzing little pollinators. Bee populations have been on a steady decline and it’s time we step up and help them out in any way we can. Here’s what you can do to help out our friend the bee!
For all creatures, having a safe place to live is essential to survival and it’s not any different for a bee! Honey bee hives are what we are most exposed to, the waxy hives are iconic, but other bee species will find homes in fallen logs, in old animal burrows, and even underground. Bees are resourceful, but sometimes it’s difficult to find real estate! If you’re interested in opening your very own “Airbeenbee,” it’s as easy as setting up what’s called a bee block. Bee blocks are blocks of wood with various sized holes that are perfect for wood-nesting bees. You can purchase them, but it’s also easy to make your own. For those bees that like to network under the earth, providing a few hills of loose soil, preferably near a reliable water source, will put you in bee-and-breakfast business!
If you provide bees with a cozy place to stay, it’s only polite to also provide them with meals. Bees aren’t that picky, if it blooms and holds pollen they’ll go for it. However, there are several plants that are particularly bee friendly that will make your yard the buzz of the town. Clover is a favourite and it also provides excellent ground cover if you’re opting for a grass alternative. Bees love lavender, honeysuckle, rosemary, mint, thyme, poppies and of course the aptly named bee balm. A variety pack of wildflower seeds will also do the trick if you’re looking for the easiest floral solution.
It might seem contradictory, but one of the best ways to help out bees is to keep buying honey. Don’t just grab off the shelf of your closest supermarket though! Instead, venture into flea and farmers markets or get in contact with a local beekeeper. Supporting local honey suppliers benefits not only a family in your own neighbourhood, but the bee population in your area as well. Beekeepers play a big role in providing safe accommodations for bees and with a safe place to live, bees will pollinate the surrounding area which is good news for everybody.
Bees are essential to local ecosystems as our primary pollinators. It’s our job to support our buzzing buddies because without them, we won’t have much in the way of fresh grown produce. Even if all you can manage is planting a pot of wildflowers, that’s a step in the direction of bee protection! If you’re curious about other methods to make your yard more bee friendly, don’t be afraid to contact our team!