Here are a few ways you can pay honor to the insect responsible for more than one-third of the food we eat.
Plant native flowers
The human-dominated landscape no longer supports functioning ecosystems. You can use Audubon's handy database to discover native plants in your area. Just enter your zip code. It's as easy as that. Not only does a yard full of native flowers look beautiful, but it's also an open buffet for bees and other pollinators to feed on nectar and pollen. Once established, native plants generally require little maintenance.
Keep the mowing to a minimum
A neatly kept lawn is nice, but letting it grow a bit long invites bees to visit dandelions, clovers, and other flowering plants that might grow in your yard.
Don't call pest control if you see a swarm
When a colony has too many bees, the hive will split in half. One half will swarm and travel together to find a new home, white the other half remains in place. Swarming bees take time to group up before leaving and will usually take off to find a permanent home within a few hours or up to a couple of days. Read more about swarming bees here: Bee Not Afraid of Swarms
If you use pesticides, apply them when plants are not in bloom
Honey bees, bumble bees, mason bees and other pollinating insects pollinate your plants and are critical for our environment. Avoid applying any pesticides, including insecticides and fungicides, while the plant is blooming. Bees and other insects may be harmed if they consume nectar or pollen containing pesticides.
Honey bees are like no other insect. We all know how tasty their honey can be, but their brilliance goes well beyond that!
Nicki Praiswater is co-founder and co-owner of Lone Star Bee Company alongside her life-partner, Mark Crippen. Together, they both enjoy beekeeping, traveling and eating great foods.