Honeybees are like our canary in a coal mine. Their decline is a symptom of a major
problem that could impact the food we eat!
1/3 of the food we eat is pollinated by bees and other pollinators. Since honeybees
produce honey and live in hives, bee keepers can easily estimate their numbers. These
reported numbers have been rapidly declining since 2006.
There are multiple reasons why diseases, parasites, pesticides, mono-cultures and flowerless
landscapes. And their not alone. Monarch butterfly numbers have also significantly
decreased over the last 20 years. If we continue on this trend we will loose our pollinators
and many of the crops they pollinate will be drastically reduced or forced to be pollinated
by hand. This will surely increase the price of food.
So, how to we help? It’s really simple. Make your area, yard, or community a bee oasis!
Provide food, water, and shelter for the bees in your area. Also learn to recognize your
areas native bees! Native bees are harder to count because they don’t live in groups like
honeybees. Native bees are just as essential to crop pollination. Bumble bees for example
are excellent at getting the pollen out of tomatoes. They vibrate their wings at exactly the
right frequency to release the pollen from its flower.
My project is about creating awareness of these issues. I want to inform and encourage
people and hopefully communities of neighbors to come together to support the bees. I’ve
created a website full of resources to educate and support this concept. It’s called Bee
Friendly Communities. One special feature of the website is a quiz which rates your bee
friendliness. The results are friend themed “BBFs -best bee friends” to “Frenemies.”