Bees are getting a lot of air time lately, and for very good reason - bee populations around the world are in trouble and they are vital to continuing life on earth. Not something we want threatened then! The good new is there are small things we can all do at home that will have a hugely positive impact on bee populations and chances are your kids will love these activities too. Here is a list of 5 easy things you can do at home to help save the bees.
1. Plant bee friendly flowers and flowering herbs in your garden. It would be doubly wonderful if you found plants that were native to your area, rather than many of today's weeds which are so popular in home gardens but which can cause havoc on native species when they spread to our wilderness areas. It can be tricky, as so many nurseries sell very few natives, but have a chat to your local Landcare group who will be full of amazing suggestions for bee friendly plants in all shapes, sizes and colours, that are native to your area. Another bonus of natives - they are adapted to our conditions so generally speaking they are 10 times easier to look after than non native species. Another bonus - see if you can get a variety so you have things flowering year round!
2. Build a bee hotel! Not only are these amazing homes for bees and many insects, but I also love the way they look in gardens, adding a beautiful wildness to an area.
3. Bees get thirsty. Put a few little containers of water around your garden, especially in your dry times of the year. How good is this bee drinking station below - I am already imagining how excited the boys will be setting up these stations and watching to see if bees come to drink! It would be so cute to have a little drawing table set up nearby too, so the kids could draw the bees at the drinking bowl if they visit!
4. Buy local raw honey. This can be a mine field when you are in the supermarket but generally if a brand is untreated/raw they will make a big deal of it and you will be pretty quick to spot it on the label. Even better, go to your local farmers market - every farmers market I have ever been to, has had bee keepers selling their honey. Not only are these wonderful people instrumental in helping bee populations to thrive, they are also earning a living so supporting them is wonderful x 2.
5. Teach your kids about bees. Not only are all of the above activities hugely beneficial to bee populations, they are also seriously fun for kids and they also teach them about tackling some of our worlds problems in creative, colourful, fun and inventive ways. Plus you get a garden makeover and a visit to your local farmers markets thrown in.
Like many of the worlds problems, this is a big one, but also like many of the worlds problems, tackling it together in small achievable steps can make huge changes. Make sure you tag me in any of your bee garden makeovers so I can share your wonderful creations!