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Simple Ways We Can Save Our Bees

by Kirsty Bannister

Best known for their incredible and unique ability to produce honey, bees encourage our diverse eco systems to flourish, pollinating of our crops and flowers and allowing own human race to continue. Many plants, fruits, vegetables, and crops such as avocados, almonds, onions, mangoes, apples, asparagus, watermelons, pears, tomatoes, cherries and cotton, rely very heavily on honey bees for pollination. 

Over the last few decades, bees are becoming closer and closer to extinction for a large number of reasons, such as pesticides, changes in the climate, drought, habitat destruction and nutrition deficit. Thankfully, it is not too late to help save the bees from extinction and there are lots of things we can do to help them to prosper. Many of these options can be done from your own back garden. 

One very easy way to help the bees prosper would be to plant lots of bee friendly flowers, such as lavender, which is high in nectar, purple borage (also called star flower), rosemary and sunflowers. Sunflowers are great for bees, as they slowly release pollen enabling the bees to return day after day to the same plant. You can also grow flowering plants such as the common Birds-Foot Trefoil and Red Clovers as they seem to enjoy these just as much! 

Our bees also need rest and a place to comfortably hibernate, so another easy way to help the bees in your own back garden would be to create your own bee shelter or purchase an already made bee hut, or bee hotel. Hang the bee hut in your garden, in a sunny spot, and watch as the bees make your garden their home! 

Often, you may see a bee on the ground during the summer months. Upon first glance the bee may look dead, but it may actually be resting from exhaustion as bees fly long distances in order to find nectar. If you see this, be sure to mix up two tablespoons of sugar with one tablespoon of water and place it beside the bee so it will drink. Within a short amount of time, the bee will have enough energy to continue its hunt for nectar and have the strength to get home. I would recommend carrying this mixture in a tiny leak proof jar when you go out, just in case you come across this situation. 

Another important change would be to stop using pesticides. The chemicals used in pesticides are not bee friendly and further the detrimental effects of using these chemicals. To help our bees, we should completely avoid chemical pesticides if possible.  

There is a long way to go before we are able to successfully keep the bees from declining, but if everyone can do their part, then our bees will have a much higher chance of survival!