Today is World Bee Day!
In 2017, the United Nations General Assembly has approved the proposal of the Republic of Slovenia to celebrate World Bee Day on 20 May. The UN has recognized the importance of the bees, not only because of the delicious and healthy honey that they are producing but also because of their key role in ensuring nature’s biodiversity.
Bees pollinate up to 70% of all plants and without them, we would have a much simpler and kind of a boring diet.
But bees are in danger: every year up to 180 billion bees die and we simply cannot stand by and do nothing about it.
This Bee Day, let us all make a few simple steps to help save the bees worldwide! Here are 4 easy things everyone can do in order to support our little pollinators:
Plant bee-friendly flowers in your garden
No matter if you live in a house with a big backyard, or you simply have a few pots in your balcony, you can make a big difference for the bees by planting flowers that they can gather nectar from.
Such flowers are sedum, cornflower, lavender, veronica, salvia, sage, thyme, fennel, calendula, poppy and much much more. A simple Google search would give you hundreds of suggestions! Another very important aspect of bee-friendly gardening is avoiding harmful pesticides. Some of the substances you are treating the weeds with are very dangerous for the bees. On the other hand, there are plenty of natural pesticides that could be as effective.
Pro tip: Don’t be too quick to mow your lawn, especially if you happen to have dandelions and other wildflowers in your backyard: these are great sources of food for the bees.
Create a bee bath
Bees need water. Not only they need it for hydration, but they also use it when producing bee bread – highly nutritious food for the larvae and the baby bees. Finding water can be tricky sometimes, especially in urban areas. But you could easily help them out by creating a bee bath for them. Fill up a shallow container – it could be an old plate, a box or whatever you have available – with fresh water and place a few pebbles inside so the bees have somewhere to land.
Bee baths can also attract colibris and other small birds and insects – they will all be very thankful for the refreshment.
Put up a bee hotel
Wild bees, bumblebees, butterflies and other pollinators are very important pollinators too. You can put up a bee hotel on a tree or by your window – it will provide them with a safe place to rest, nest and thrive. Bee hotels are usually found in the gardening sections of most of the big stores. If you love a DIY project, creating one from scratch could be a fun activity for children and adults. You can use scrap wood, bamboo sticks, and logs. Here’s a quick how-to video.
Buy local honey – Adopt a hive
Buying local honey is important for a few reasons. Usually, local small producers are very conscious about their bees and care for them deeply. Supporting a local beekeeper would mean supporting your local economy: after all her bees will be pollinating the area you are living in, and maybe your garden too! Local honey is proven to be healthier, as the bees gather nectar from the same plants we are surrounded by.
There’s this huge myth that the honey from urban beehives is not as healthy and can even be toxic due to the bad air quality in certain urban areas. In reality, urban bees are way healthier than rural ones, as there are no pesticides in the cities. Another plus is the diverse flora in the city: from your balcony flowers, through the plants in the parks, to little gardens in front of the buildings.
Adopt a hive is a program designed to support European beekeepers by creating a fair and sustainable market for their production. Our mission is to support local producers and their bees. With a single adopted hive you support over 60,000 bees and an indigenous beekeeper. Your contribution matters.
Now you have 4 ways to help the bees around you. We believe that every single bee matter and every small step counts. So if you decide to follow some (or all!) of these bee-friendly suggestions, make sure to send us a picture. We would be more than happy to have a huge album of random acts of bee-kindness by the next World Bee Day. Contact Us