Common Ground

Tips About Bees

Evan Pearl

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It’s that time of year again. The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining and your local yogi bear is waking up from hibernation.

 

With the incoming rush of spring and summer, bees are coming back to pollinate our beautiful state. There have been many incidents in the past year with bees. From mass killings of local farmers hives due to “accidental” pesticide sprays, and thefts of hives out west from california almond tree pollination teams.

 

With the change of the weather, you may get some new neighbors moving in. I’m going to talk about how you can help the bees and what you can do when a new hive moves in and you don’t want them there.

 

There are five quick tips that I will give so you can help the bees but more importantly help yourself.

 

  1. Plant bee-friendly flowers and flowering herbs in your yard or garden.

Bees are losing habitat all over the world due to intensive monoculture-based farming practices and the destruction of native lands. Here are some flowers you can plant that are bee friendly- Lavender, Sage, Mint, Squash, Tomatoes, Fuschia, Bush Sun-flower and Lilacs.

     

  1.   Weeds can be a good thing.

Contrary to popular belief, a land full of clovers and dandelions is not just a good thing- it’s a great thing! They are a haven for bees, especially early in the season since they’re the only food around. So let your lawn liev a little!

 

  1.  Don’t use chemicals or pesticides to treat your lawn or gardens. They may make your lawn and land look pretty, but they have the opposite effect on the life in your biosphere. The chemicals and treatments you put on your lawn and garden can cause damage to the honey bees systems. It’s worse if the flowers are in bloom and because they get into the pollen, then into the honey, then eventually into you. So think twice before applying chemicals to your lawn or garden.

 

  1.  Buy local and raw honey.

There have been many cases of chemicals making it into honey, then stored on grocery store food shelves. Get your honey “raw”, or go to your local farmer’s market where many beekeepers sell their honey. Go introduce yourself, ask questions, see how they raise and treat their bees, then make a new friend and support them!

 

  1.  Bees are Thirsty.

Put a small basin of fresh water outside your home. Many people don’t think about it, but bees get very tired and dehydrated working hard all day in the sun. So leave a bird bath with rocks in it that they can crawl on. They will more than appreciate it!

When a new hive moves in and you don’t want it there, it can be a safety hazard or just annoying. As a beekeeper and someone who cares very deeply for them, please do not kill them or destroy their hive. Do not bother the hive and keep a safe distance from it to avoid getting swarmed or stung. Instead call your local beekeeper and they will be more then happy usually to come and take them off your hands, sometimes even for free! It’s safer and you will be saving a few thousand bees. I hope you a learn a thing or two and start helping your local, nature workforce. It’ll benefit your lawn, your garden, the ecosystem and yourself. If you have any other questions you can contact a local beekeeper, research and go online or you can contact me at epearl2017@gmail.com.

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The student news site of Harwood Union Middle/High School in South Duxbury, Vermont
Tips About Bees