Image result for honey bee photos freeTo Bee or Not to Bee?

 

For many of our insect companions on this earth, “to be or not to be” is the current and future question.  The small honeybee is in danger these days due to pesticide exposure, parasites, diseases, and a lack of flowers. 

 

When we speak of justice and peace issues often we forget the many important justice issues which affect the plant and animal life around us and have a direct impact on human life.  Since 2006 the honeybee population has dropped by more than 30 percent.  Many of the 4,000 species of native bees are in decline or on the verge of extinction.  So much of our food supply depends on these small pollinators.  When these pollinator-plant relationships are in danger, as they are now, then we all will pay a heavy price.

 

During these warm days of summer and reflecting on the beauty of nature all around us, some things we can do to protect the honeybee are the following:

 

1.  Plant native plants, trees and shrubs which are conducive to attracting honeybees.  Check local garden areas to find out what is native to your area.

 

2.  Cultivate a PC (pollinator-conscious) yard by eliminating pesticides or using safer ones if necessary.

 

3.  Create nesting areas for honeybees. Seventy percent of bee species nest in the ground and the remaining 30 percent nest in stumps and dead wood. 

 

4.  Go to your local city officials and request that public gardens plant native bee friendly plants.

 

5.  Go on the internet to find out other facts about the crisis facing all pollinating insects.  For plants which are specific to your growing area a resource is the USDA database at plants.usda.gov.  Local nurseries also are a resource.

 

6.  Ten plants which pollinator insects are attracted to are the following:  Phlox, Sunflower, Goldenrod, Black-eyed Susan, Bee balm, Joe Pye weed, Blazing star, Aster, Coneflower, Cardinal flower.

 

To bee or not to bee? How can we help…

 

Ann Kasparek

Image result for pesticide free honey bee