Happy World Bee Day!
May 20 is officially known as World Bee Day, and we are ready to celebrate in style. Today isn’t just an excuse to put honey on everything though - it’s about raising awareness as to why our vital little pollinator friends need our help, and learning how we can be better neighbors. Luckily, there are several simple things we can all do to make the world a BEEtter place! (sorry, couldn’t resist.)
- Make your space bee friendly
This doesn’t mean you have to spend hours upon hours gardening to make your yard a bee paradise (unless that’s your thing, in which case, go you!). Planting a pollinator garden can actually be quite simple, with the added benefit of attracting butterflies and hummingbirds as well as bees. Plants that are native to Colorado will be your best bet. Not only will they be low maintenance and therefore more likely to thrive, they’re more likely to be a favorite of local critters. If you have space in your yard, Rocky Mountain Penstemon is a great choice. Its delicate purple flowers are beautiful, and they attract an array of pollinators. For maximum practicality, plant garden sage. This herb can be grown in small spaces and utilized in the kitchen. Use a small planter on an apartment balcony or outside a window, and you’ll be good to go!
- Let them BEE!
You might think, “But why would I want bees in my yard? I don’t want to get stung.” which is an obvious concern, especially if you or someone you care about is allergic to bees. The good news is, as long as you do your own thing, the bees will do theirs. A bee’s primary concern is pollinating your plants, not attacking you. Avoid swatting or interacting in general, and there’s no reason we can’t live in harmony. A common misconception is that bees die when they sting you. This is only true for honeybees, and other species like bumblebees can sting repeatedly. It’s a good idea to keep your pollinator plants in a spot that isn't right next to a door. This helps you avoid crossing paths, or a bee accidentally getting stuck inside your home.
- Support local Beekeepers!
If you are someone who enjoys honey, you’ll want to get it locally for many reasons. First and foremost, you will be supporting local beekeepers in your community. Just as you support other small businesses in Denver, like us here at Decade, you’ll be supporting our local economy. Additionally, you’ll be supporting local beekeepers in their efforts to preserve and care for our bees. If you still aren’t sold, keep in mind that honey from bees that aren’t pollinating locally has essentially no benefits, and is basically just added sugar. Meanwhile, it’s well known that honey from bees that have been pollinating local plants aids in preventing seasonal allergies. You can find local honey at most farmers markets, and even in most grocery stores. Just don’t forget your reusable bag!
These are things each and every one of us can do to help, and none of them are difficult. Heck, one is just “don’t do anything”. Hopefully, with a little mindfulness and compassion, we can do our part to preserve such a crucial part of our ecosystem. Though we can’t solve the problem of a declining bee population overnight, we can do something today that will make a better tomorrow for them.