I don't like bees. I am actually petrified of them. I got stung a couple times when I was younger and frankly, it hurt like crazy. I am that lunatic that will jump and run and scream when a bee comes anywhere near me. And yet, I am beginning to cautiously like those annoying, buzzing little things. Why?
As I "practice" gardening more and more, I have come to understand the incredibly important role that bees play. Bees are pollinators. That means that they carry pollen from plant to plant (or male to female plant parts) for fertilization. We rely on these awesome pollinators for plant-based materials for clothing such as cotton, shelter, and more importantly, our food! Without bees, we can see a dramatic reduction in our food supply!
Should we worry? Unfortunately, yes. There has been a rapid decline in bee populations worldwide. Anywhere from 70 to 90 percent!! The causes seem to be a combination of factors to include over use of pesticides, land development, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and globalization leading to an easier spread of diseases.
What can you do about it?
** Promote responsible agriculture by buying GMO-free foods and buying organic foods that have been grown without the use of pesticides.
**Stop using pesticides in your own garden and/or lawn
**Plant native plants that are bee friendly. You can actually now find a "Save the Bees Seeds Mix" to plant in your yard.
As for me, I am still not so thrilled about co-habitating with the bees, but I am smart enough to know that they are part of God's creation with a very important role in nature. I will slowly be incorporating bee-friendly plants and flowers as I make progress on my garden and hopefully get over my fear.
Sources and Further Reading:
Death of Bees
Pesticides and Bees
Huffington Post Article
Why are Honey Bees Disappearing?
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Labels: Food and Nutrition, Garden, Organic Lifestyle