how do u actually save bees?
- Plant bee-friendly flowers
- Support your local beekeepers
- Set up bee hotels for solitary bees
- If you see a lethargic bee feed it sugar water
- Spread awareness of the importance off bees
+Don’t eat honey✌🏻
That will not help save the bees at all. They need the excess honey removed from their hives. That’s the beekeepers entire livelihood.
Seriously refusing to eat honey is one of those well-meaning but ultimately terrible ideas. The bees make way too much honey and need it out in order to thrive (not being funny but that was literally a side effect in Bee Movie). Plus that’s the only way for the beekeepers to make the money they need to keep the bees healthy. Do not stop eating honey because somebody on Tumblr told you too.
excess honey, if not removed, can ferment and poison the bees. even if it doesn’t, it attracts animals and other insects which can hurt the bees or even damage the hive. why vegans think letting bees stew in their own drippings is ‘cruelty-free’ is beyond me. >:[
the fact that we find honey yummy and nutritious is part of why we keep bees, true, but the truth is we mostly keep them to pollinate our crops. the vegetable crops you seem to imagine would still magically sustain us if we stopped cultivating bees.
and when you get right down to it… domestic bees aren’t confined in any way. if they wanted to fly away, they could, and would. they come back to the wood frame hives humans build because those are nice places to nest.
so pretending domestic bees have it worse than wild bees is just the most childish kind of anthropomorphizing.
If anything, man-made hives are MORE suitable for bees to live in because we have mathematically determined their optimal living space and conditions, and can control them better in our hives. We also can treat them for diseases and pests much easier than we could if they were living in, say, a tree.
Tl;dr for all of this: eating honey saves the bees from themselves, and keeping them in man-made hives is good for them.
Plus, buying honey supports bee owners, which helps them maintain the hives, and if they get more money they can buy more hives, which means more bees!
I tell people this. About the honey and what to do to save bees. I also have two large bottles of honey in my cabinet currently. Trying to get some flowers for them to thrive on. Support your bees guys
… uh guys… the whole “Save the Bees!” thing is not about honeybees. It’s about the decline of native bees almost to the point of extinction. Native bees do not make honey. Honeybees are domesticated. Taking measures to protect honeybees is as irrelevant to helping the environment as protecting Farmer John’s chickens.
To help save native bees, yes, plant NATIVE flowers (what naturally grows where you live? That’s what your bees eat!), set up “bee hotels,” which can be something as simple as a partially buried jar or flower pot for carpenter bees, and don’t use pesticides. Having a source of water (like a bird bath or “puddles” you frequently refresh) is also good for a variety of wildlife.
Want to know more about bees that are not honeybees?
Dark Bee Tumblr is here to help [link to post chain about forbidden bees]
ALSO also also
Every place has different types of bees. Every place has different types of plants/flowers. Those hyped-up “save the bees” seed packets that are distributed across North America are garbage because none of those flowers are native in every habitat. Don’t look up “how to make a bee hotel” and make something that only bees from the great plains areas would use if you live on the west coast.
Look up what bees you have in your home! Here’s a great (excellent) resource: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/630955-Anthophila
This is every bee that has been observed and uploaded to the citizen science network of iNaturalist. You can filter by location (anywhere in the world! This is not restricted to the US!), and you can view photos of every species people have added. Here’s the page for all bees, sorted by taxonomy, not filtered to any specific location [link]. Have you seen a bee and want to know more about it, but you don’t know what kind of bee it is? Take a picture, upload it to iNat, and people like me will help you identify it–and it will also become part of the database other people will use to learn about nature!
Some native Texan bees I’ve met!
A sweat bee! [link to iNat]. These flowers are tiny, no larger than a dime.
A ligated furrow bee! [link to iNat] They burrow and nest underground.
A longhorn bee! [link to iNat] I don’t know where they nest, but I often find them sleeping on the tips of flowers at night (so cute!)
Meet your local bees! Befriend them! Feed them! Make them homes! Love them!
This is one of the native bees I met in Arizona! This handsome man is a male Melissodes sp., AKA a type of long-horned bee. I saved him when he was drowning in a puddle.
I love him
This is a great post all in all but I’d just like to note that colony collapse syndrome is definitely a thing, so domestic honeybees are absolutely in danger as well
yes, I don’t know where the third to last poster is getting off saying those things. It’s great he or she has taken some cool pics of different types of wild bees, but wild and domesticated bees are both parts of the puzzle and need equal weight when trying to solve the problem. Shades of grey, ppl. Support wild and domesticated bees.
Yes, colony collapse is a thing and the decline of honeybees is causing some scary issues with crops and food production. But, there are two separate issues here: a human food supply issue (honeybees) and an ecological/environmental issue (native bees). Both issues are really important, especially if you are a human and/or like eating food. But (1) the average person doesn’t know that there are two separate issues (2) the average person doesn’t realize there are bees that are not honeybees (3) the average person doesn’t know that honeybees are not native to most parts of the world.
The “Save the Bees!” rhetoric often focuses solely on honeybees. Environmentally-minded people will make the logical connection that bees are important and need to be saved for pollinating non-food plants, but they will make an incorrect assumption that saving honeybees will solve the problem. Saving honeybees will only solve one problem, and it’s not the environmental one, which is arguably more important and more pressing.
Although you could mention that the actions of individuals is moot when companies are covering expansive fields of crops with pesticides that we know are killing bees, and facing absolutely no repercussions… but the first step is understanding the issue.
Nobody is unaware that honeybees are important; regular people can’t make much of an impact on honeybees besides not using pesticides. Many people have no idea native bees exist/need help, and since many are solitary, regular people can take measures to help them out.
And the other thing with save the bees! People think the answer is to have more bee keepers and honey bee hives. This isn’t the way to go. More honey bees mean less resources for native bees. Native bees are not generalists like honey bees are and have a far more limited pool of resources. This is part of the reason why honey bees have such a negative impact on native bees overall.
Plus honey bees are an introduced species. They are agricultural live stock. They are not native to the Americas. Whereas the vast majority of bees that are in peril are native bees which are being driven out. Did you know that the Western Bumblebee has rapidly declined? It used to be found throughout the entire west. But now it’s only found in the rocky mountains. This is due to the combined pressure of habitat destruction, pesticides, imported bee species passing their parasites onto native bees.
This is why when I as an professional entomologist say save the bees, I mean native bees. There is so much research and money going into honey bees that even with things like collapse disorder and new diseases and mites, there will be ways found to mitigate these issues. Where as native bees? There isn’t as much of a focus on them. In fact native bee conservation is a relatively recent thing. Someone who visited my workplace recently was talking about the decline of several native bumblebees and how she couldn’t justify their protection to federal agencies because the historical data simply wasn’t there. She was seeing it. But there was nothing before her to back it up. There are huge gaps in our knowledge of native bees. My boss? She wrote a book on native bees and when it was published the state species count was 880 some native bee species. It’s been 5 years, the count is up to 950+ species in Colorado.
People are starting to see the importance of a diversity of bees when it comes to pollination. Some plants are only visited by certain kinds of bees and other bees are better at pollinating some types of plants than others. See tomatoes, they require buzz pollination to dislodge the pollen which Andrena solitary bees and bumblebees do. Honeybees do not have this behavior and are less effective at pollinating these plants. Honey bees are not the end all be all of pollinators. They play an very important role in agricultural and that is why I refer to them as livestock. But for other plants, they might not be the most ideal pollinator.
The biggest way you can help bees as stated before is not to use pesticides and native plants. Just these two steps alone greatly benefit native bees (and honey bees). Bee hotels are great, but you should do research before setting them up to make sure they are set up to your area. And if you do make a bee box don’t use treated wood since it has insecticides in it. I do not recommend getting honey bee hives because A) less resources for native bees and B) less resources for the hives already in the area.