Image via beeculture.com
World Honey Bee Day is on Saturday August 18, and we're doing our part to create some buzz on bees. You may have heard recently that bees have been added to the endangered species list. According to a global assessment made by the U.N., over 40% of pollinator invertebrates, including bees, are facing extinction due to pesticides, disease, and habitat loss. Their decline is a serious threat to the world. The biz of bees makes up a multi-billion dollar industry and is used in a vast array of products. Our products at Flynn&King, foods you consume every day, even the clothes you wear, all contain agricultural products that depend upon the free labor of bees and other pollinators like butterflies, bats, beetles, and birds. It seems that everything we deem important is in someway involved with bees. But before you go stocking up on rations like the end is nigh, me-thinks it's not too late! Growing a pollinator's garden and a few other of these simple tips from the Honeybee Conservancy and USDA Forest Service can help make an impact on bringing pollinators back.
If you grow it they will come. It's easy to turn any small patch of land or container garden into a pollinator-friendly paradise. In some cases suburban and city gardens have shown to have more pollinator diversity than nearby fields. For a few years I lived on the third floor of a Brooklyn brownstone and successfully grew cherry tomatoes and jalapenos on my window ledge. When the flowers of my mini-garden were in full bloom, I was surprised to find small flies and bees would travel so high up to visit regularly. As long as there are plots (and pots) of flowers, fruits, and vegetables, pollinators will come hungry. Wherever you are located, you can find a variety of indigenous plants to grow that will attract your local fuzzy friends. Herbs and flowers like echinacea, oregano, thyme, beebalm, lemon balm, sage, borage, sunflowers, yarrow, coneflowers, butterfly bush, and black-eyed susans not only are attractive to the neighborhood bees, most other pollinators love them too.
A few other tips include:
- Reducing or eliminating your contribution to the use of pesticides.
- Eating more locally grown and organic plants.
- Put bees to work! Support local bees and beekeepers to encourage sustainable farming. Every Recover Balm we make has beeswax sourced from New York or Brooklyn's local bee farmers.
- Conserve resources in general. Less waste makes for cleaner future.
What are your tips on helping pollinators? Answer in the comment section below!