Why are bees so important?
Not only do bees provide us with delicious sweet honey but they also pollinate a lot of the foods we eat. About ⅓ of the food on our plates is accredited to bee pollination. The annual contribution of honey bees to food production in the United States is estimated to be $15 billion. Beyond pollinating the foods we eat, which is an extremely important job in itself, we also have bees to thank for making our world greener. About 90% of all plants require cross pollination to grow and flourish, which bees aid in, not just in our gardens but amongst wild plants as well.
While it may seem like bees are always around and doing well, they are actually in trouble. For the past several years we have seen a decline in the bee population. This is attributed to a number of reasons; from the loss of habitat, diminishing food sources to pesticide exposure and the effects of climate change.
So what can we do?
One of the most important things we could do is to never kill bees. Seems so simple but for many people the first thought when they notice an unwanted beehive on their property is to kill the bees. Rather than killing the bees, we are able to safely remove and relocate them. Another great way to help bees is providing them with the plants they love and a fresh source of water. Fill your garden with bee friendly plants like lavender, sage, mint, marigolds, asters, and echinacea just to name a few. In addition avoid using pesticides and insecticides in your own garden, and if you are able to do so, buy organic fruits and vegetables.