Honey bees and other pollinators are an essential part of the community. They help crops grow, help flowers flourish, and allow the natural world around them to continue to thrive. Who wouldn’t want a buzzing local population of honey bees? Fortunately, there’s plenty of ways to welcome and encourage honey bees in your community, from creating safe places for them to forage to supporting your local beekeepers. Here are three ways to increase your local bee population.
Create a Honey Bee Sanctuary
Even if you don’t keep honey bees for yourself, you can still create a safe environment for them in your own backyard. Create a honey bee sanctuary by planting bee-friendly flowers that are rich in both pollen and nectar. Try to plant a variety of flowers so that you create a reliable food source throughout the entire honey-making season. You can also create a safe water source for your local honey bee population by putting out a shallow dish and keeping it full of fresh, clean water.
Avoid Using Pesticides
If you keep a garden or grow any kind of plants in your yard, avoid using pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Even organic pesticides and insecticides can be deadly to honey bees. If a worker bee collects nectar or pollen from a plant that you’ve sprayed with chemicals, they’ll then carry those chemicals back to their hive. Avoid inadvertently harming an entire colony by finding natural and nontoxic solutions—such as pesticides made with garlic, corn gluten, or kaolin clay—to keep your plants safe. When you use pesticides, make sure you spray in the evening or early in the morning when forager honey bees are still in their hives. You should also try to use a degradable pesticide to reduce the amount of time chemicals linger on your plants.
Become a Beekeeper
If you’re up to the commitment, one of the best ways to increase your local bee population is to become a beekeeper yourself. Beekeeping is a wonderful, rewarding hobby that can teach you a lot about the natural world in which you live. You can also turn it into a side business by selling your honey and other hive products. Grab a bee starter kit from Mann Lake and bring a healthy, humming hive of new honey bees to your community today.
What do you do to help the honey bee populations in your community? Share your stories and advice with us in the comments below!