Many people think of bees as a nuisance insect that they don’t want buzzing around and potentially stinging them in a painful way. But bees are actually one of the most beneficial insects that exist in the world and very important to many aspects of daily life.
As we dive into the spring season with all of the beautiful plants in bloom, here’s a look at why bees are so useful and how to bring them into the appropriate places around your property.
Why Are Bees Beneficial?
Bees are pollinating insects that impact biodiversity and food security all around the world. We need bees because of their role in the pollination process so that agricultural crops can grow and be healthy. The bees that produce honey are especially valuable because this natural sweetener has potential health benefits that can be used to address various conditions. Honey is commonly used in tea and in recipes with healthy fruits and vegetables.
Meanwhile, many people swear by bee products to treat everything from eye conditions to dizziness, allergies, wounds, and constipation. A common bee-related product that humans use is beeswax, which can be used for fuel, waterproofing, candles, and cosmetics.
Threats to Bees
However, bees need our help to life and thrive so that we can continue to enjoy these benefits for many years to come. Bee populations have declined in recent years, but efforts to revive the insects have been making a big difference. Pesticides, global warming, diseases, and parasites all affect the health of honey bee colonies. Bee habitat loss, invasive plant species, low genetic diversity, and pathogens from commercially managed bees are also risks to bees that we all need to be aware of in the world today.
Bringing Bees to Your Garden
Although you don’t necessarily want bees hanging around your front porch, back deck, or pool, there are areas of your property that would benefit from a bee population. For example, bees can pollinate your garden and also various plants that you have as part of your landscaping around the yard.
To keep bees safe on your property, avoid using pesticides and other chemicals on your plants. Also, use organic fertilizer, such as Seagate Fish Fertilizer Concentrate and Seagate Seaweed & Fish SoilTabs, instead of synthetic fertilizers in outdoor areas. You’ll want to keep garbage can lids tightly closed so that bees don’t move away from your garden and into any sweet treats that you might have thrown out.
You can attract more bees to your garden by growing a variety of native plants that bloom at different times of the year. A water feature, such as a flowing fountain, will be attractive to bees, as well as bee-friendly weeds, including dandelions and mustard. Early-season trees that bees love are apple trees and maple trees, while perennials to plant are violas, blueberries, and lungwort. Another idea is to build or buy bee nest boxes to provide them with some shelter around your garden.
As you can see from these examples and with a little extra care and knowledge, bees and humans can enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship and help us live a more natural and healthy life!