On World Bee Day, 20 May, we are reminded of the essential role bees play in maintaining the health of our environment. According to the United Nations, over 40% of insect pollinators, including bees, are at risk of extinction in the next two decades, putting our food supply in danger.
Fortunately, there are simple steps that everyone can take to help save the bees. Kelly Martin, from gardening website Urban Garden Gal, suggests, “You don’t need a large garden to help your local bee population. Grow some flowers in containers, plant a flowering tree or replace part of your lawn with clover to give bees a valuable source of food.” It is also important to provide bees with a shallow dish of water with rocks for them to drink from, and to avoid using pesticides and chemical fertilisers.
In addition, Martin recommends providing nesting places like bee hotels or leaving a small patch of bare soil in your garden for the bees to nest. “Bees are crucial pollinators for our food supply, and by providing places for them to nest, we can help to ensure their survival and the health of our ecosystem,” she says. “There is no better way to show appreciation for these amazing creatures than by providing them with a safe place in which they can thrive.”
For those looking to create a bee-friendly garden, here are the top five plants that bees love: Lavender, Sunflowers, Coneflowers, Borage, and Wildflowers. Supporting local beekeepers by purchasing natural honey, beeswax, and other bee products is also a great way to help save the bees.
On World Bee Day, let’s take a moment to reflect on the important role of bees and to appreciate the simple steps we can take to ensure their survival.