Our little cousins need help

Here’s something totally different from what normally appears in this blog. Never mind, you have to read it anyway.

Some of you may have heard that our little cousins, wild bees (not a rival gang), are facing adversity. Wild bee populations are being threatened by the following factors:

  • Loss of natural habitat due to urbanization and other human development.
  • Diseases due to importation of bees from other countries.
  • Use of pesticides harmful to bees.

Why are wild bees important? About eighty percent of the plants we eat depend on bees for pollination. Without bees, many fruits and vegetables would no longer be available. Wild bees are also very important to biodiversity in nature. We must not allow them become extinct. Fortunately, there are a number of ways we can help our little cousins.

We can grow plants native that attract wild bees, monarch butterflies, and other pollinators. For plant recommendations click here. We can also monitor our insecticide use closely (or not use them at all) — even if it’s labeled “organic” — and follow all label instructions before use. For bee-safe insecticide recommendations click here. If we have a garden, we can let it go … just a little bit! Allowing our veggie and herb plants to flower and some dandelions to bloom, will offer forage opportunities for bees. Lastly, we can educate our children, relatives, friends and politicians about the importance of bees and what we can all do to help them thrive.

Let’s make an effort to help our wild bee cousins. It’s for our benefit as well.