Let’s be honest. When most people think of bees, they freak out a little. While bees can be scary if you have an allergy, the majority of the public doesn’t need to be afraid of bees. The benefits of bees outweigh the dangers and we NEED to do our part so honey bees in Canada can continue to thrive!
Pollinators such as honey bees are responsible for pollinating significant amounts of food crops that we as humans eat. That right there should be the BIGGEST reason we would want to encourage them to continue to live in our yards and gardens.
Because honey bees travel large distances, we are able to enjoy delicious foods such as cherries, apples, pumpkins and cucumbers.
WHAT FACTORS AFFECT HONEY BEE HEALTH?
Some factors include:
PESTS OR PARASITES – parasites can weaken honey bees and shorten their life spans, making it hard for colonies to thrive.
WEATHER – winters in Canada can be tough. Beekeepers do their best to try and protect the colonies during winter, this includes wrapping the hives, providing extra sugar in the fall, and ensuring a plentiful food supply in the spring. Harsh conditions like wind can also affect crops and reduce the food supply for honey bees.
DISEASE – bacteria and sicknesses can affect honey bee colonies the same way they can affect humans.
PESTICIDES – pesticides used today are the safest they’ve ever been. In fact, even beekeepers use pesticides to protect their hives. If used incorrectly, however, they can affect honey bee health.
LACK OF FOOD – just like humans and other animals, honey bees need food to fuel them. If the beekeeper removes most of the stored honey for harvest, the colony will require some additional feeding with sugar syrup in the fall to bolster their food stores and ensure successful survival into the spring. That means that without proper sources of food, hives won’t have enough to last the winter, leading to a collapse before the spring when they can begin to bolster their numbers again.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Bees Matter wants to help you plant gardens that help honey bees thrive! Gardens provide honey bees with healthy food sources, which helps them not only survive, but thrive.
You can order and plant a FREE seed kit full of flowers that are good sources of nutrition for honey bees. Order your BUZZING GARDENS SEED KIT today! By planting a pollinator-friendly garden during National Planting Week, June 5-12, you can do your part to help honey bees and other pollinators.
Bees Matter has given out over 70,000 seed kits across Canada since their start up. Order your kit and get planting – we’d love to see a photo of your garden for honey bees on our Twitter or other social media using the hashtag #Plantforbees.
Disclosure: I am participating in the Bees Matter blogger campaign and have been compensated. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own.
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