If you’ve read my other bee posts, you may have developed a little bit of a flicker in your ticker for our pollinating pals. And hopefully you’ve gained a deep appreciating for all the things the do for us. To give you an idea of just how hard they work, if bees earned minimum wage, a jar of honey would cost $182,000. Ya. that’s legit. You may even be feeling so grateful for all their hard work, that you want to do something to help these little fellas out. Well, if that’s the case, I’ve got your back.
My amigos at Beekeeper’s Naturals dish out some simple ways that you can do your part to help save the declining bee population. Whether you want to help a little or a lot, we’ve got 3 simple ways you can help out.
So if I were a really lazy person/strapped for time, but wanted to help, what are the 3 simplest things I could do to help save the bees?
Well, you don’t even have to get off your couch to donate to the Canadian Honey Council but if you were willing to venture to your yard, there are plenty of things you can do to help:
1) Get your green thumb going
Planting bee-friendly flowers is one of the most beautiful ways to help the bees! Plant a diverse assortment that bloom at different times of the year (spring, summer and fall) and opt for native flowers as well as bright flowers such as Foxglove, Lavender, Sunflower, Aster and Goldenrod.
2) Stay away from pesticides, herbicides and fungicides!
These harsh substances can harm the bees in a variety of ways so please encourage your friends to avoid using them too.
*Avoiding pesticides can be as simple as choosing to buy organic foods & making your own non toxic weed killer. Every time you buy something, you are casting a vote for the kind of bee friendly world you want to live in so choose wisely.
3) Build a bee bath
Just like a bird bath but way cuter! Bees need water just like the rest of us. You can build a bee bath quite easily – you just need a shallow vessel or bowl with small rocks in it (floating mulch can also work) for the bees to perch on while they drink.
By following these 3 easy steps, not only will you be helping the bees, but you will also be rewarded with larger and more delicious fruits and veggies in your garden. How’s that for a win-win scenario!
If I’m a serious bee-aholic and want to get more involved, where should I start?
Luckily for you, Toronto has a thriving bee/beekeeper community! The UTBA (Urban Toronto Beekeepers Association) has a monthly meeting open to the public and is a great place to learn more and speak with other beekeepers. There are also plenty of events hosted by the TBC (Toronto Beekeepers Coop) and the OBA (Ontario Beekeepers Association). And if you don’t want to venture to far from home, go speak with a beekeeper at your local farmers market!
So being the good student that I am, I decided to build a bee bath to help hydrate my bee pals on their long journey from the petals to the hive. It could have been as easy as placing a shallow dish of water filled with marbles outside in my garden, but my crafty little hands were itching for a new project. I found a great DIY guide on pinterest that used recycled materials to make a bird bath. And since sustainability and crafting totally tug at my heart strings, I rolled up my sleeves and pulled out my glue gun. I used a clay pot, the base of an old lamp and a shallow clay dish. I stacked them together with a metal lamp rod through the middle, slapped on a layer of paint (avoiding the inside where the water will go), sealed it with some glue and filled it with marbles and some trusty H2O. Presto, a bee bath was born! Check it out:
Have you done your part to help the bees? Snap a pic, post it on instagram or twitter & tag me @bitewithlove. I’d love to see your bee loving skills!
Big THANKS to Beekeeper’s Naturals for sharing their knowledge with me.
Buzz on over to their bee log for great recipes, products & info on all things bees.