The “Burbs and Bees: Why Investing in the Bee Population is Important”
From Martha Michael
If you’re like many Americans, you have a bear-shaped squeeze bottle in your closet that you reach for when you spread peanut butter on bread or brew a hot cup of tea. Honey is a healthy sugar substitute and a great addition to dishes from brie to salmon.
Although the sugary substance plays a supportive role in many meal combinations, the bees that make it are key players in the food production process. Changes in the world threaten honey bee supplies, but we can help them survive.
Problems for bees
According to the Honey Bee Health Coalition, a third of the food we eat depends on honeybees’ pollination services. However, since their involvement in promoting the growth of a wide variety of natural resources is more indirect, their importance to the system is easily overlooked. The organization’s website explains how fundamental bees are in maintaining the global ecosystem.
The coalition consists of:
The health of the bee population affects world nutrition and the economy. The pollination work of bees contributes to billions of dollars in US and Canadian agriculture. We rely on their distribution of pollen for food security, which is threatened due to several factors affecting the sustainability of bees.
- Lack of nutrition – As development replaces natural spaces, the bees’ diet becomes less varied, which leads to malnutrition
- Pesticides – Crop protection, such as the use of pesticides, reduces the number of bees during pollination
- Pests and diseases Viruses and natural enemies destroy the bee population, including varroa mites and nosema, which are parasites that live in the bees’ digestive tract
- Human intervention – The selective breeding practices of leaders in beehive management reduce the genetic diversity of bees
Help honey bees survive
You can help reverse the looming bee crisis without leaving your home. When designing your garden, choose high-nectar and pollen foliage that provide a habitat for bees.
A website called Backyard Beekeeping lists the plant species that attract bees and other wildlife such as hummingbirds and butterflies. It can be so easy to choose the right colors; Bees are most attracted to flowers that are blue, yellow, purple, or orange. While hummingbirds pollinate red flowers with deep tubes, bees prefer short tubes or no tubes.
The most attractive forage is in full sun and planted in groups. Trees are good for bees too; This is where they get most of their nectar and there is a lot of nesting material from trees.
Some of the bees’ favorite plants, trees and flowers are:
Chinese chaste tree
Blackberries and raspberries
Avoiding synthetic pesticides and fertilizers also helps the bees to survive. Choose natural methods of protecting plant growth; Whatever you use should be applied at night when the bees are in the nests.
A water feature in your garden is another way to promote the health of bees. A shallow bird bath or fountain can both attract and support bees. It is especially important in hot regions where sometimes a honeycomb melts in the beehive.
“You need a supply of water so bees can bring it back and distribute it in the hive,” says retired Michigan State University entomology professor George Ayers. “They then form groups and fan their wings to evaporate the water and cool the beehive. The question you have to ask yourself is if you are not providing good, clean water, where can you (get) it from? ‘
Become a beekeeper
Wherever you live, you can probably become a beekeeper. People who live in cities and suburbs raise bees using urban beekeeping kits. According to an article on CompleteBeehives.com, rooftop gardens are a growing trend in areas like New York City, where Italian colonies have beehives on the roof of the Fashion Institute of Technology building.
The advantage of urban beekeeping over farming in the countryside is that the bees have access to a wide variety of crops across the city and are not exposed to the pesticides used on crops in rural areas. It also provides access to local honey for urban residents.
The rules for becoming a beekeeper depend on each city’s regulations, which you can check on the local government websites. For example, Los Angeles lifted a 136-year urban beekeeping ban in 2015 and joined San Francisco, New York and Washington, DC, according to an article by NPR. Regulations often relate to the number of hives you will keep, the size of your property required, and the types of bees you can raise.
There are three types of beehives typically used for urban beekeeping, but the most common for beginners is the Langstroth because the equipment is easily accessible. It is a rectangular box with 8-10 frames that bees can build their honeycombs in.
If you’d prefer to reach out to someone else for a local honey supply, visit the Bee Culture Magazine website and enter your region.
Honey production is more than just a spread – it’s a process that affects global food supplies. If you think about promoting the life of honeybees, the result can be sweeter than the fleeting taste of the condiment they make.
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The common corp. published this content on September 06, 2021 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by public, unedited and unchanged, on September 06, 2021 12:11:03 AM UTC.