When Mary Poppins sang about a teaspoon of sugar she probably wasn’t thinking about the bees. But maybe she should have been. A recent Facebook post, originally attributed to the advice of David Attenborough suggested homeowners leave sugar outside their front door to help struggling bees gain energy and nourishment. Sounds good, right? It’s not. This advice can kill bees or make them very, very sick.
The Facebook post was taken down after it was revealed that this advice didn’t come from David Attenborough and the scientific community pushed back on the irresponsible advice. Disaster was averted, but still, many people were left wondering what they can do to save their local bee population. After all, it’s a well- known fact that bees have been struggling, even if scientists can’t exactly agree on why. This is important because although bees are best-known for stings and honey, they do so much more than that.
Many scientists estimate that without bees, the living species of Earth would cease to exist. Bees are responsible for pollinating approximately 75 percent of the planet’s vegetation, which translates into one in every three bites of food we eat. These are the plants that feed both humans and animals. They also help provide clean air.
So, what can you do to save struggling bees if it’s dangerous to provide them with a teaspoon of sugar? The good news is, there are several steps you can start taking today.
1. Plant flowers
Focus on plants that bloom year-round in your yard. Their blooms will offer the bees nectar, which they can safely convert into energy when they need a boost. What’s more, your gorgeous yard will be the envy of the neighborhood.
2. Buy Local, Organic Food
We love our local farmer’s market, and we love it even more now that we know a visit can help save the bees. Organic farms don’t use pesticides. And pesticides kill bees. This means every that whether you take home a lovely bouquet of fresh flowers or basket full of vegetables, you’re ensuring that the bees will continue to have a safe, healthy environment.
3. Leave Them Water
Even if you don’t make regular visits to your farmer’s market or have a yard to plant flowers in, you can still do your part to save the bees. Bees get thirsty. They need water. And it can be difficult for them to find a watering hole, especially in the hot, dry, months of summer. So why not set them out a little dish of water? Put a few rocks in it so they can crawl in it like it’s a river creek bed. Just don’t put it right in front of your door or on your patio table. They might forget to be grateful and sting you instead.
4. Buy Local, Raw Honey
Here’s another thing you can do when you visit your farmer’s market. Buy local, organic honey, Supporting beekeepers who don’t subject their bees, their hives or their honey to chemicals will help sustain the industry and the local bee population. And there’s an added bonus. Raw, local honey is healthy and delicious.
So, there you have it. There’s a right way and a wrong way to support the bees. And the right way is fun, beautiful, and delicious.