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
Europen Honey Bees are an invasive species in the US and compete with native bees.
Native bee populations are specifically evolved to pollinate certain native plants. Most are unlikely to have a significant effect on the pollination of the non-native crops that people need to grow to survive. It’s true that honeybees will compete with native bees as well, and can be classified as an invasive species, but so long as native bees are supported and native flora is maintained, there is no reason why they shouldn’t be able to coexist. And while there’s a whole different argument to be had about the negative effects of growing nonnative crops at all, if they fail, as they likely would without the honeybees that a large percentage of farmers keep to pollinate their and other local crops, the effects on humanity will be catastrophic
Lest people think I am anti-honeybee (no? I love honeybees?? They are precious??), the above is correct. Like it or not, the way we grow our food (much of which is not native to where it’s farmed) absolutely requires pollinators like honeybees. We would have a hugely massive food crisis on our hands without honeybees.
But, because so much $$$ is tied into the continued production of food, governments and food production companies will do whatever they can to mitigate the effects of colony collapse and other honeybee health issues. What can you do to help honeybees? Buy and eat food. Easy, right?
What is being done to protect native bees? Well,
2) Scientists and researchers are trying to get pesticides known to have devastating effects on bees and other pollinators banned and absolutely failing ([link]).
3) Scientists and science communicators (like me now, apparently) are trying to spread this information about native bees and their importance so more people can do little things like plant native flowers (lookup North American species for your zip code here: [link]), change how often they mow their lawns ([link]), and vote out the assholes who are profiting by destroying our environment ([link]). Success on this one: TBD, and by people like us.
As a gift to the honeybee lovers out there, please accept this photo of one making out with a stinkhorn mushroom:
^An excellent post on the complexities of the “Save the Bees” movement
To add, honeybees are also having problems in, you know, Europe and Asia, where they are native!
I feel like that gets forgotten by many, as Tumblr is very USA centered.
@nanonaturalist don’t you mean bee-friend them?
*sigh* Please, allow me to introduce you to my roommate, Augochloropsis sp., a sweat bee (Austin, Texas):
Here is a close personal friend of mine, American Bumble Bee (Keller, Texas):
I traveled to Alberta last summer, and was able to meet up with an acquaintance, Cryptic Bumble Bee (Calgary, Alberta):
And the foreign exchange student staying with her, European Wool Carder Bee (Calgary, Alberta):
Flashback to the days before I dated my posts *shudders*
April 8, 2019