Why (And How) You Should Help Save The Bees

By Christy Erickson

Some people love bees and think they’re beautiful and graceful insects. Others fear bees, worried about their sting. No matter how you feel about them, you actually need them more than ever these days.

That’s because the bee population is dramatically decreasing. Some regions have lost up to 45% of their bees, and last year, the US put honey bees on the endangered species list. That’s a very bad thing for everyone. But what can you do about it? There are several ways you can help bees make a comeback, such as planting a bee-friendly garden. But it helps to know why bees are a good thing for you.

Why Bees Are Important To You

How exactly do you depend on bees for food? It all comes down to pollination. Bees eat nectar from flowers, and in the process, they get coated with pollen. Then the bee flies to a new flower, spreading the pollen there. This helps the plant reproduce.

To put it another way, bees are responsible for pollinating over one-third of your fruits and vegetables. Without enough bees, you could lose the following foods:

  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Apricots
  • Almonds

Even if those don’t go away completely, you’ll end up with much smaller supplies — and that means paying higher prices since the supply isn’t there. Other foods that can be impacted include coffee, grapes, cherries, avocados, and of course, honey.

If there aren’t enough bees in the world, your trip to the grocery store will be more expensive and bland.

Starting A Backyard Garden For Bees

You certainly do not want your diet to be mostly rice and grains. Then what can you do at home to help the bees? One of the biggest ways you can help is starting a garden in your backyard that’s specifically made for these insects.

The more “food” people plant for bees, the more likely it is that bees will have enough food to stay healthy and reproduce. This can help the bee population finally rebound and get back to where it should be.

Gardeners.com recommends planting several types of flowers that bees love, including:

  • Alyssum
  • Echinacea
  • Papaver
  • Trifolium (aka clover)

If those are unavailable in your area, lots of native wildflowers will be helpful. Local bees feed well on local flowers found in your climate. If you don’t have a yard, or yours is very small, you can plant native flowers in small pots and window boxes. Be creative and look around the outside for places to plant the flowers bees need.

Other Ways You Can Help Bees

Once you have your bee-friendly garden plants (even if it’s just a few flowers in a pot near your front door), the Los Angeles Times lists a few other ways you can help bees.

  • Only use natural pesticides. Synthetic ones can be poisonous to bees.
  • Leave a patch of bare soil in your yard or a pile of branches and untreated wood. There are bees that build nests underground and near some wood.
  • Create a birdbath for bees. They need water too, so place a small amount of water in a basin near your garden.
Bees Really Are That Important

Remember that bees are not aggressive, so if you leave them alone, they tend to leave you alone in return. Even if you’re not a fan of bees, you are a fan of all those fruits and vegetables that they pollinate. Do what you can to help bees survive and you can be helping both your diet and your bank account.