Buzz, Buzz, Buzz

I heard about the disappearance of bees way back in the day, but as a teenager I never thought there was anything I could do about it. It was always the scary “mysterious” disappearance of bees. No one seemed to know what was going on and not even the experts seemed to know what to do. Every once in a while I would see a news article flashing MILLIONS OF BEES GONE! I never really got a grasp on what was happening until we watched Vanishing of the Bees. However, this movie primarily focuses on honeybees and how they are reacting to pesticides. That’s a huge agricultural part of the problem. Honeybees are non-native to this country and are imported for agricultural pollination. I know in my backyard I’ve never seen a honeybee and we definitely don’t use pesticides. Bees vanishing is a huge problem, but there has to be more we can do on an individual scale. I know a lot of use don’t have gardens or any space to plant a small garden, but there are ways to attract bees when you go home. My backyard at home is a veritable jungle, there is no upkeep except every once in a while we cut back the weeds when they get too long. However, we have lots and lots of bees. We have a lot of material and native plants for bees to live in, eat, and bee happy. They are tiny and have never been a nuisance and they are really only active during the late afternoon. And they are not honeybees. There are six native species of bees to florida. They are in just as much trouble as honeybees because of habitat loss, pesticides, and other human activities. It’s important for individuals to create spaces for bees in their backyards.

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When bees visit your garden they are looking for food and shelter. So you need to add a few key plants to attract bees and keep them coming back. Bees eat food in the form of nectar and pollen. But, how do you know which plants bees are attracted to? There are a lot of resources online that can tell you about bee power-house flowers, but one of the best ways to find out is to search at a local nursery and find which plants the bees hang around. Those are the flowers and plants you want in your garden. When planting these new plants you want to place them in large patches close together. Bees don’t want to travel very far and they are more likely to pollinate large swatches of flowers than if they are scattered about. And of course you don’t want to use any pesticides. When using pesticides in your garden, it can poison the flowers and then poison the nectar, effectively killing the bee. By just adding a few bee friendly plants to your garden you can increase bee traffic ten-fold and create a safe haven for these delicate creatures.

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