The first thing that most people think of when they think of bees is that nasty stinger they have, but have you ever considered what would happen if all of the bees disappeared? Not only do they produce sweet honey and useful beeswax, but also play a very important role in keeping humans alive!
Bees, as most of us know, buzz around consuming nectar from various flowers and carrying pollen from plant to plant, which essentially keeps plants alive and producing. In fact, honeybees are responsible for pollinating one third of the world’s agricultural plants that are grown for human consumption. In other words, without our winged friends, many of the foods that we eat would quickly disappear! Their busy work is vital to our survival!
Unfortunately, honeybees are disappearing at an alarming rate. This is largely attributed to the use of pesticides used to produce crops. The Harvard School of Public Health refers to the rapid loss of bee colonies as an epidemic called Colony Collapse Disorder. CCD suggests that neonicotinoids, a particular family of pesticides, is to blame. It’s estimated that just last year, 44% of honeybee colonies in North America died. Scientists attribute this rapid decline in beehives not only to pesticide use, but also to climate change, destruction of natural environments and pollution.
What you can do to help our busy bees
Fortunately, we all can help play a part in savin the honeybees even if you’re not a a farmer or beekeeper. A few easy changes to your daily life can help the hard working bee colonies flourish again. Not only will you help bee colonies thrive, but you’ll also make your own environment healthier!
Get rid of chemicals around your home
Eliminate the use of chemical pesticides, fertilisers and herbicides in your own garden. Instead, try using organic natural alternatives.
Grow a variety of bee friendly plants in your yard
Just like humans, bees have favourite foods too. Among the top loved plants are mint, sage, lavender, sunflowers, pumpkin, squash and tomatoes. Growing these types of plants will keep the bees in your neighbourhood happy and healthy.
Eat more local honey
Did you know that some honey sold in stores has added corn syrup? Purchasing local honey not only means you will get higher quality pure honey, but it also supports local economy, local bees and your own community. Don’t be afraid to eat it up, honey has multiple health benefits! It is antibacterial and antifungal, helps regulate blood sugar, can reduce gastrointestinal disorders, is a natural cough suppressant, and can help to reduce environmental allergies.
Use products containing honey and beeswax
Honey is a healthier (and tastier) alternative to many sweeteners. Try using it in baked goods, coffee, tea, etc. Additionally, it is becoming more common to find various items utilising other benefits of honeybees’ hard work. Beeswax is an incredible natural product that can be used in a number of ways. Organic salves, lip balms, and beauty products made from beeswax are readily available. Also, many household products such as candles, furniture polish and, of course, beeswax wraps are also made using beeswax. For SuperBee Wax Wraps, we use locally produced beeswax found in the hills of northern Thailand.
Purchasing produce, meat and flowers from organic farmers supports the use of natural products rather than harmful chemicals, which are killing off bee colonies.
Do you ever consider how far your food has travelled before arriving in the supermarket? Our food is often transported from hundreds of miles away! Sending items via airplanes, trains and trucks increases the amount of pollution in the environment and wastes natural resources, both of which play a role in climate change.
Making these simple changes to your daily life in an effort to slow the decline of honeybee colonies is easy and will help keep bees, plants, animals, and humans alive and buzzing – literally!