Let’s bee kind: 10 ways to help bees
Bees are in serious decline in the UK and globally. We have already lost around 13 species and another 35 are currently at risk, but we have 10 ways that you can help save our buzzy buddies.
1. Buy Local Honey
Local honey will be prepared by local beekeepers. This keeps food miles down and helps the beekeeper to cover the costs of beekeeping. Local honey complies with all food standards requirements but is not mistreated to give it a long shelf life.
2. Plant a Bee Garden
One of the largest threats to bees is a lack of safe habitat where they can build homes and find a variety of nutritious food sources. You don’t need a ton of space to grow bee-friendly plants. Bee gardens can be made in small spaces like window boxes, flower pots, and planters.
3. Put Away the Pesticides
Synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, and neonicotinoids are harmful to bees, wreaking havoc on their sensitive systems. Avoid treating your garden and green spaces with synthetics. Instead, use organic products and natural solutions such compost to aid soil health and adding beneficial insects that keep pests away like ladybugs.
4. Encourage Local Authorities to Use Bee Friendly Plants in Public Spaces
Some of the country’s best gardens and open spaces are managed by local authorities. Get in touch with your local council and encourage them to use bee-friendly plants when improving your area.
5. Create a Bee Bath
Fill a shallow bird bath or bowl with clean water and arrange pebbles and stones inside so that they break the water’s surface. Bees will land on the stones and pebbles to take a long, refreshing drink.
6. Build Homes for Bees
Did you know that, with the exception of honeybees, most bees are solitary creatures? 70% of solitary bees live underground, while 30% live in holes inside of trees or hollow stems. You can buy (or easily build) an ‘insect hotel’ using hollow stems like bamboo, twigs and string.
7. Go Wild
Species like bumblebees build their nests in undisturbed land. You can provide safe haven for them by leaving an untouched plot of land for them in your garden!
8. Keep Calm and Carry On
Bees only sting when provoked. If a bee hovers inquiringly in front of you, don’t panic! Stay calm and slowly move away, into the shade is best. The bee will soon lose interest.
9. We All Get Tired
A tiny bit of sugar can do wonders for a tired bee. Mix of two teaspoons of white granulated sugar with one teaspoon of water and put it on a plate or drip it on a flower to revive a tired bee.
10. Help Educate Children on the Importance of Pollinators
Teaching them to respect and care for bees is a key step in helping them build a better future. With some hands-on education and a few fun exercises, you and your children could be well on your way to helping the bees for years to come.
Want to learn more about bees? Watch Messy goes to OKIDO, S1E23 Bee Story on BBC iPlayer or HBO Max!
As seen on CBeebies. Season 3 coming soon…
This month OKIDO magazine is all about FLOWERS AND BEES!
Learn how bees help plants grow, create a beehive and flower painting, make some spiced honey cakes and more!