With summer time approaching it’s important to think about our current bee population and what we can do to promote the protection of bee friendly environments. The bee population has been rapidly declining to frighteningly low levels which takes its toll on the agricultural industries as farmers rely on the pollinating role of bees.
How to Create Bee Friendly Environments
By planting bee friendly plants and creating bee colonies we can help increase the bee population which is an important part of maintaining a biophilic urban settings and can contribute to sustainable food security.
Within your own yard, patio, or balcony garden you can turn your space into a bee friendly environment that will help the pollinators thrive. Plant flowers with nectar and pollen for the bees. Good choices for summer time are roses, foxglove, and black eyed Susan’s. Lots of sun flowers are also a great choice both for the bees and for the presentation of your garden. Different bee species are attracted to different types of plants so the more diverse your garden is, the better.
One of the major causes of bee population decline is the disappearance of their nesting sites. As urban dwellers we can create bee nesting sites in the ground within small patches of bare soil positioned in a sunny location. Bees also tend to build nests within holes in trees. You can replicate this type of bee habitat with wooden blocks, also known as “bee hotels“. Using untreated and chemical-free lumber you can build a bee home and place it in your yard or on your deck. The home should have multiple, deep holes evenly spaced out for bees to occupy. Ideally the bee home should be positioned for morning sun. Ready-made bee homes can also be purchased from Mason Bee Homes.
Apart from planting bee friendly flowers and creating appropriate nesting sites, an extremely important aspect of protecting bees and all wildlife is to use little to no chemicals. Rampant pesticide use has been linked to causing the decline of the honeybee population. Part of our responsibility in ensuring our own healthy future is understanding the role we play in both the destruction and the rehabilitation of our planet.