Why Save the Bees?
Sister Bee began beekeeping nearly 6 years ago on my 10-acre property snuggled close to the stream and vegetable gardens. The honey bees are intriguing to watch, fascinating tiny creatures. All year long we enjoy nature's sweet, delicious honey that our buzzing friends create. We also quickly became aware of the benefits of beeswax, which is now infused into our line of Sister Bees products.
In order to feed ourselves with the kind of food that our moms told us would make us "big and strong", we need the bees. There are around 4,000 species of bees that are native to the United States. They come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. Native bees and honey bees alike help to pollinate our food crops. An interesting side note is honey bees are NOT native to the US, they were brought here by European settlers. And we're so grateful they came! Can you imagine a country without the honeybee? As a science refresher, pollination is where insects move pollen from one plant to another, fertilizing the plants so that they can produce vegetables, fruits, and seeds. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), bees of all sorts pollinate approximately 75 percent of the fruits, nuts, and vegetables grown in the United States and bees increase the crop value more than $15 billion each year.
Bees give us a quick "state of the environment report." The bees' absence means they are shouting out to us, "Hey, things are not going well for me and the environment!" At present, bees are dying off at an alarming rate. During the winter about 40% of honey bee colonies in the US die off. There are a few major contributors to why bees and other insects like moths, butterflies, dragonflies, and beetles are dying off. First, insects are losing their habitats to farming and city development, second, the use of fertilizers and pesticides, and finally, the climate is changing.
What Can We Do?
Plant a bee-friendly garden.
Flowers help feed bees and other pollinators. You will be double-dipping! Planting a garden will not only help the bees, but you'll enjoy all the benefits of a beautiful garden as well. A great way to start is with a Sister Bees Bee Food Wildflower Seed Mix!
Create a Bee Bath.
A fun summer activity can be to create a bee bath. Simply fill a shallow birdbath or bowl with water, and arrange pebbles and stones inside so that they poke out of the water. Bees will land in their bee bath to drink the water as they take a break from all their buzzing in your garden.
Bees Need Trees.
It's not just the flowers that bees are interested in! Did you know that bees get most of their nectar from trees? When a tree blooms, it gives bees hundreds if not thousands of blossoms to feed on. Go Bees!
Tell us your story! Do you have honey bees? Have you taken any actions to create a healthier planet for the bees? We would love to hear all the "buzz!"
I grew up in the country where a huge colony of bees built an enormous honeycomb within the walls of our barn. Every few years we would call the local beekeeper to come and remove the comb and honey. He was fascinating to watch as he worked. In no time those bees started to rebuild!! I’m so saddened to see their decline. I loved to watch them dance and wiggle to tell the worker bees where the best flowers were. I’ve been planting ‘bee friendly’ seeds, hoping to lure some my way again! Keep up the great work!!