Chances are, you’ve heard about bees disappearing. But you might not know just how bad things have gotten. More than half of the bee population is gone worldwide, and bees are now an endangered species in the US.
Why should you care about these stinging insects? Because unlike wasps or hornets, bees actually do a lot for you and your family — and it’s not just about honey. Read below to learn how bees help put food on your table and keep the economy buzzing. Then you’ll know why you should take action now to save bees.
Why You Need Bees
You know that disappearing bees is a problem, but why exactly? How do some missing bees affect you and your family?
Bees are one of the best pollinators in nature. This is how plants reproduce. About one-third of your food supply is pollinated by bees. When there aren’t bees to do their job, these plants don’t reproduce and can die out. Here are some of the plants that depend on bees to grow a new generation:
If too many bees disappear, your family might not be able to eat these foods because they aren’t available anymore.
But the problem is bigger than what’s in our grocery stores. When these drops start to disappear, the cost of food goes up thanks to its scarcity. Plus, bees pollinate around $15 billion dollars worth of crops each year. Jobs will disappear along with the food.
Backyard Gardens For Bees & Your Family
Thankfully, there is an easy way your family can help protect bees: Build a garden. If there are more flowers for bees, they’ll have more food to stay healthy and multiply. And by getting your kids involved, you can teach them about nature — and have some fun as a family.
USA Today recommends starting with a sunny area. Most flowering plants love sunlight, so this will help your garden (and the bees) thrive. If you don’t have much space in your yard, you can always take your kids to the store and pick out a planter or window box.
What kind of flowers are best? National Geographic explains you want plants that are native to your area. Since this is what bees nearby will be used to, it increases the chances of them finding your family’s garden. You also want to pick different colors, shapes, and ones that bloom at different times of the year.
Help Beyond A Garden
Your family garden will help bees begin to recover, but there are other ways your family can help. Here are a few:
- Avoid pesticides: These poisons are a major reason why bees are dying off, so don’t use them around your yard and home.
- Buy organic: Since organic farmers don’t use pesticides, you are making it financially viable to farm in a way that protects bees.
- Buy local honey: Along the same lines, buying honey locally helps beekeepers in your area expand their bee population.
- Leave bees alone: Bees ignore you when you ignore them. Teach your kids to give bees plenty of space when they run into them outside.
Your Family Needs Bees
Bees help your family by pollinating plants and providing jobs. As the bee population drops, you need to do something. Involve your whole family in building a bee-friendly garden. Not only will this be fun, you can help protect the foods you love by helping bees.