Bees and other pollinators are incredibly important to our economy and environment, but they are often in danger because of things that humans do in our farms and gardens. Pesticides are chemicals that farmers and gardeners use to kill weeds and insects they don’t want hanging around. Most of these chemicals kill or harm bees if they come in contact with it or eat it. Sometimes bees even take pollen and nectar back to their hive that has been sprayed with chemicals. When the bees use that pollen and nectar to make honey, then guess what? We get to eat it too. Yuck!
Another way bees are in danger is from lack of food sources like flowers rich in nectar and pollen. Not all flowering plants are useful to bees. Some flowers don’t have nectar or pollen. Other flowers are too ruffled or tubular and bees can’t get to the pollen or nectar. Spend some time in your own yard or park and see which flowers the bees are visiting and which one they aren’t.
Bees also need plants that bloom throughout the growing season so that they have a constant source of food. This is where your garden can make a difference. Go to the library and check out a book on gardening in your area. Find one that tells you when plants are flowering. That way you can make sure to have food for bees all year, or at least when the bees are out and about. Try to have 3 different kinds of plants blooming at a time, and plant them in clumps instead of one or two here and there. That way its more attractive to bees.
You can see how humans do, indeed impact the lives of bees, whether by doing harm or by doing good. The great thing is that you can make a difference by making sure that bees and other pollinators have plenty of safe spaces to eat and build their homes. Yes, YOU do make a difference!
Here are some resources to read more about dangers to bees and how to help: