The Importance of Planting Flowers That Help the Bees

daisy

It may be time to improve your lawn, sure the green grass looks nice, but what would even be better would be a bee garden. It will not only improve the aesthetics of your lawn. But, It will also be providing sanctuary to the bees who are losing their habitat due to multiple factors, including climate change and increasing use of pesticides.

By starting a bee garden, you are inviting bees to gather their food as well as pollinate your flowers and help create a bountiful harvest.

While beekeepers have advanced techniques in helping their bees thrive, you do not need to be an expert. These are simple things anyone can do in their home to aid the bee population:

A Garden for All Seasons

bed of flowers

Bees are the talk of the town during spring. After all, it is when they are most active and this is the time when most flowers bloom. While that may be true, bees still need food sources, especially during winter. Making your garden diverse and planting flowers that bloom at different seasons can help the bees. Hardy mums grow even during autumn and winter and can be a food source for the bees during these cold times. Marigolds and daisies are pretty helpful to bees as well due to being high pollen and nectar producers. Have a chat with your local gardening shop to know what flowers work best for what season.

All Natural

It would be best if you could avoid the use of pesticides entirely. As it affects the beneficial insects such as bees and other insects that prey on parasites like aphids. The goal of your garden is to provide pollen and nectar to bees and it is counterproductive if you are driving them away with pesticides. It is essential to be mindful of your gardening practices as we need to improve the declining bee population.

Limited Space is Not a Problem

indoor potted plants

If you live in an urban area but wish to help the bees, then worry not, there are things you can do to help the bees. Simply purchase a flower pot, seeds, some potting soil and fertilizer, then you are good to go.

Bees Are Not Pests

bee getting nectar from a flower

Some people couldn’t even stand the sight of a single bee and rush to quickly eliminate them. It is important to note that bees play a critical role in our food production and also the economy. A friendly tip is a beekeeper or pest services that would gladly extract a hive from your place. So you can enjoy your garden while keeping it safe.

Aside from planting flowers that help bees, you can also help by educating yourself. You can also help by donating to the cause to save bees and creating bee-friendly structures in your garden, such as a bee bath.

What Are The Jobs Bees Do in the Hive?

What are the Jobs the Bees Do in the Hive? 

Bees Have 9 Jobs!

The Beehive is A Busy, Well Organized Unit! 

The jobs of bees is quite amazing!

 Thousands of bees work to keep this organized well-functioning hive going.

Each must do their part to keep it running.

Did you know that the life of a honeybee is all work?

As soon as it hatches it goes right to work.

Guess that is where the expression “Busy as a bee” comes from!

So, what do the Bees do each day? And what are their jobs?

 There are 9 jobs in the beehives.

What are the 9 Jobs in the Hives?

The female worker bee is part of the largest population, there are 

50,000 female vs 500 male drones. 

The female bee as it ages will work most of all the jobs. 

Image result for female worker bee cartoon"
the worker bee is always female and she does most of the jobs in the beehive

Let’s jump into the 9 jobs of a Bee. 

  1. Nurse and House Bee, as soon as the bee is hatched, it goes right to work.  Immediately cleans out its hatching cell so that it is ready for the next eggs. Ready to work, the young bee is responsible to feed the brood which includes, young bees, pupae, and larvae.  
  2. Undertaker, did you know that honeybees are obsessive about cleanliness? Because there are so many bodies coming and going, the dead bees must be taken out of the hive. The undertaker bees carry out the dead bees. They gather the bee parts and other debris and remove it from the hive.
  3. Architect  As the young bee’s wax glands matures it secretes wax. When that happens bees can build comb. The bees that produce wax take care of pupae and help to ripen honey cells. So, they are called architects because they are responsible to repair any part of the comb that is damaged and fill in the cracks of the hive with propolis. (a sticky substance that bees collect from tree resin)
  4. Honey Makers and House Cleaners, remember we said bees are obsessive about cleanliness? Some of the female bee jobs are cleaning other female bees. And make sure when bees return to the hive they help pack the nectar and pollen into cells. These bees do honey duty because they have digestive enzymes that are needed for raw nectar. And their other job? Fanning! To ensure that no extra moisture is present while creating the honey. So there is non stop fanning. 

5.     Queen’s Attendants someone has to groom and feed the queen bee. So the job of her daughters is to do just that. As the queen moves her daughters are there constantly grooming or feeding her. Only about 12 bees are the attendant bees

6.     Forager, this is the one that gets the most notice and prestige. Why? Because the forager is the pollinator. And without pollinators, we have no flowers or crops. So the by-product of the forager is crucial. The forager is considered to be the breadwinner of the hive. Each day they go at least 3 miles looking for nectar and pollen. As soon as its stomach is full and its pollen baskets filled, it returns to the hive and drops off its precious cargo. Then it leaves again and starts over. The forager continues this cycle through the entire day of sunshine. Because they fly hundreds of miles, their wings get tattered. Needless to say, this is the last job a worker bee does, because it works itself until it collapses

7. Guard, the guard is the one with a stinger! Its job is to be the entrance guard. No one is allowed in except foragers. It is the guard’s duty to keep wasps and even humans away. So if you are close to a honey bee hive and you get stung, now you know why!

8.     Queen, this is the most crucial job. Why? She is the keeper of the future population. She lays up to 2, 000 eggs per day. Not only does she produce these eggs, but she also chooses where she will lay them, and the number of worker or drone eggs she needs to produce. The only time she leaves the hive is as a young virgin queen then she meets a swarm of bees so that she can mate. Did you know that a queen bee can live up to 5 years, while her worker bees may live up to only 6 weeks?

Image result for queen bee cartoon"
The Queen bee is responsible for the continuation of the hive.

9.     Drones are all male bees. Their job is just to mate with other queens and spread their genes. In the hive, they are lazy, fat and hungry. They rely on their sister’s hard work to take care of them. So although it seems like they are not important to the hive. They are. It is up to them to continue the mating process. Should they still be around by the fall, they are ceremoniously pushed out of the hive. The bees cannot waste honey on the drones whose work is completed

Image result for drone  bee cartoon
Drone bees have only one job in the beehive

Amazing what these tiny insects do. And without them, we would be without most of our food source.

What To Do To Save The Honeybees?

save the honeybees

What to do to save the honeybees?

Honeybees are disappearing. They are under threat worldwide. In the United Kingdom, the populations of wild honeybees have declined above 45% since 2010. While in China, farmers have started to hand pollinate their crops because of the loss of bees. It is our moral duty to do all we can to save the honeybee population.

Best Ways to Save Honeybees

What do we need to do to save the honeybees?

Say NO to Herbicides and Pesticides

Herbicides and insecticides are the most common and significant reasons for lowering the population of honeybees. These contain chemicals that are harmful to the honeybees.  Do some research before you use pesticides and herbicides, so you are not adding to the demise of the honeybee. 

If we lose our honeybee, we will lose not only our food but also animals that rely on the crops that the honeybees pollinate.

Plant a Bee Garden

save the honeybees
Saving our Bees is as easy as planting a bee garden

Let your lawn get back to its roots. Plant plenty of herbs, flowers and other plants which can attract more bees in the best possible way. More importantly, plant flowers that are native to your local area.

Because native flowers can bloom at different times throughout the year and can help bees more than other options. Make sure to plant a bee-friendly lawn. Also, don’t forget to provide a place to leave water for bees. Because they need water too.

Buy Organic

Undoubtedly, insecticides are the key cause of honeybees’ decline. Therefore, it is always vital for you to support and buy organic. Support farming practices that do not include any harmful chemicals. This will not only help you to save bees but can also keep you from the effects of toxins. If the chemicals can kill honeybees, what can they do to your body?

Become a Beekeeper

bee keeper
Become a Beekeeper and Help Save the Bees

Although this is not a thing to do for everyone. This can be a fun hobby to enjoy. It is a way to contribute to saving our planet. This is one of the most enjoyable, fascinating and interesting hobbies to choose from. As a beekeeper, you can also earn more by selling honey. If you want more information, local beekeeping associations are helping people to learn how to start beekeeping.

Buy Local Honey to Help Beekeepers

save the honeybees
Save the bees by helping to support local beekeepers

Local beekeepers are preparing local honey. It plays an essential role in helping the beekeepers to cover their costs of beekeeping. Local honey has a completely different taste as it is enriched with local flora. Enjoy the natural, rich flavor and support the people who bring it to you.

It is no secret that honeybees are highly crucial for our world. Along with being favorite picnic guests, bees are the world’s excellent pollinators. According to a report of the US Department of Agriculture, 2% of these bees are responsible for pollinating 80% of the crops.

In other words, honeybees are vital to our health.  

For the future of our planet, we must save these little buzzing beauties.