The disappearance of bees has been in the news the past few years. That’s because it is big news. Roughly a third of the entire bee population in the world has died off, and in the US, bees are now an endangered species.
So what? Why should you and your family worry about some missing bees? Believe it or not, bees are vital to your family. They help create the food your family eats, and not just honey. Here’s why you need to worry about bees — and how your family can help.
What Bees Do For Your Dinner And Budget
Why are these stinging insects important for your family? Believe it or not, it’s because bees give us cheaper food.
In order for crops to keep growing a new generation, they need to be pollinated. Bees are one of nature’s most prolific and efficient pollinators. That’s why bees are responsible for $19 billion of crops in the US alone. This includes many foods your family loves: apples, almonds, cucumbers, blueberries, strawberries, and more.
So when there are fewer bees pollinating, there are fewer foods in your grocery store. This drives up the price of staples like apples and strawberries since they are scarce. But if the bees disappear completely, so will those crops.
A Simple Way To Help: Start Gardening
Starting a garden is a great thing to do as a family. Your kids will love getting dirty while growing plants. And if you focus on flowering plants, you can also create something that helps bees.
A bee-friendly garden offers plenty of nectar for bees, helping them grow, stay healthy, and reproduce. Buzz About Bees offers some great suggestions on how you and your kids can start such a garden.
● Pick plants that offer a lot of nectar and pollen. Talk to your local garden supply store for ones that grow best in your local climate.
● Plant in groups. It makes it easier for bees to find the flowers that way.
● Pick flowers that bloom at different times of the year to provide year-round food for bees.
Here are a few vegetable and fruit plants that will also be great in a bee garden (plus, your kids will love the food):
If you don’t have room in the yard for a big garden, you can always use some pots or window boxes for flowers bees love.
Other Ways You Can Help Save The Bees
If your kids aren’t enthused about starting a garden, there are other ways your family can help protect bees. Mental Floss recommends buying local honey and beeswax, but you should also leave out water near any flowering plants. Bees need to drink and bathe like any animal.
Lastly, consider buying more organic products. One of the big reasons bees are disappearing is the overuse of pesticides. Organic farming does not include pesticides, so buying organic produce makes it financially smart for other farmers to avoid pesticides.
Protect The Bees For Your Family
Without enough bees, many foods on your dinner table can disappear. There are other animals that pollinate, but none do anywhere near the job done by bees. That’s why you need to build a bee-friendly garden and buy some local, organic foods. Besides, doing both can be a fun and healthy thing for your whole family.