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Where Are All The Honeybees? How You Can Help Support Them

 

“You can't replace bees with a microrobot or an iPod or an app or anything. We are completely dependent on bugs to retain the human race.”

- Sam Droege, USGS honeybee expert

The reason honeybees are missing is still unknown to us. Many scientists hypothesize different causes, but any way you strike it, it’s bad news for us. Honeybees aren’t responsible for just making honey- they are also pollinators, which allow many of our agricultural foods to grow.

 

Just this past year, the U.S. Government is now taking action to ensure the future of the honeybees. In 2014, the government created the Pollinator Health Task Force, not only established to protect honeybees but other pollinator insects like butterflies.

 

You don’t have to be the Commander and Chief of the United States to save the honeybees. Here are a couple of easy ways you can help from your own home, without the bugs becoming a huge nuisance around your yard:

 

Plant Flowers
The easiest answer to helping honeybees is to plant pollinator-friendly plants. Many different flowers like sunflowers, roses and snowdrops are great choices. Bees tend to prefer single-petal plants, like foxglove or calla lilies, though you may want to research these plants first. Calla Lilies, for instance, are poisonous to cats, while foxglove tends to attract bumble bees- a nuisance if you happen to be allergic.  Even garden plants like blackberries, strawberries and squash can attract honeybees. Find out which pollinator-friendly plants are perfect for your ecoregion.

 

Provide A Backyard Water Source
Even honey bees need water, just like your pets. Fountains and birdbaths can provide a sufficient source of water for honeybees. It can even be as simple as placing a bowl of water and stones near your garden.

 

Even though we don’t know what is causing America’s diminishing bee population, we do know a few tricks to replenish it. Simple changes in your yard can help to repopulate your region’s bee population. While you may think that you need to build your own beehive to help the bee population, just a few minor adjustments to your yard can make a difference.