10 Ways to Help Our Bees
Do you love bees? Do you want to see them thrive? Here are a few action items for you to “bee” a hero:
1. Become a member of the Bee Girl organization! We work hard every day for bees, and being a very small nonprofit, your generosity will go far in helping us achieve our mission. Click here to sign up, and click here for even more ways to help.
2. Plant flowers! Our favorites are sunflowers, penstemon, and phacelia.
3. Put that spray bottle down! Even “organic” pesticides can kill bees dead. Create a balanced system in your farm and garden to encourage beneficial insects, bacteria, and fungi, and let the biology to the heavy lifting for you.
4. Buy local honey – but be sure you’re getting what you pay for! Watch out for labels that say “raw, local, pure, etc.” There is no regulating body that defines and enforces these catch phrases, so find you beekeepers by reputation or at farmer’s markets, or find their honey at shops that sell locally produced goods. Order Bee Girl Honey from our Etsy shop, or visit one of our partner retailers.
5. Support farmers and ranchers that practice sustainable and regenerative agriculture! Vote with your fork! Know where your food comes from! You are the end consumer, and you get to decide what kind of a world we get to live in with your food choices. You don’t have to shop at a fancy-schmancy high-dollar food store, many farmer’s markets and CSA programs (Community Supported Agriculture) are less expensive than “cheap” national chains, and even accept EBT. Not only are you helping your local farmers and community to become more productive, regenerative agricultural principals are congruent with good bee habitat practices.
6. Water your bees! Bees need just as much water as nectar and pollen in the hot seasons. Keep a fresh bowl of water in your yard, or on your porch, and fill it with marbles or float some wine corks to give bees a place to land while they drink.
7. Provide bee shelter! Beyond food and water, bees need somewhere to live. You could become a beekeeper, or simply install a “native bee hotel” in your yard. This could be anything from a fancy store-bought hut to a few raspberry canes tied up and left in a corner, to some bare dirt and dead leaves left alone.
8. Support good policy! Read beyond the headlines and go to draft language at your local, state, or the national level, and support policies that will help bees by sending letters and making phone calls to your lawmakers. They want to hear from you!
9. Don’t be afraid! Bees only eat nectar and pollen, and they are not interested in fried chicken or BBQ sauce. Some solitary bees like male wool carder bees and carpenter bees are territorial and can be aggressive, but no male bees have stingers!! Just let them go about their business, pollinating flowers, and watch where you step when you’re barefoot in the yard. As Sue Monk Kidd tells us in The Secret Life of Bees, “Don't be afraid, as no life-loving bee wants to sting you. Don't swat. Don't even think about swatting. If you feel angry, whistle. Anger agitates while whistling melts a bee's temper. Act like you know what you're doing, even if you don't. Above all, send the bees love. Every little thing wants to be loved.”
10. Share what you know! Bee-come an advocate for bees by sharing items 1 – 9 with your loved ones!