Spring Bee Day Beekeeper
Photo Credit: Pexels

The 20th of May is World Bee Day so this is how you and your family can work together to help save both the honey bee and our 1300+ solitary bee species.

 

South Africa (19 May 2021) – The 20th of May is World Bee Day, and as South Africa is currently cooling down, there is so much we can do for bees to help them through winter and protect them always!

Sadly bees have had some pretty tough times, and not just your common honey bee but also all the indigenous solitary bees.

In honour of these fuzzy bee butts and their pollinating ways, we have compiled a list of what we can all do to protect them. The list consists of 9 helpful tips, and you can implement them all or just one or two.

Create a vegetable and fruit garden.

This is a win-win for you and the bees. By planting fruit and vegetables, you provide food for the bees, your family, and if you grow too much, your neighbours too! It needn’t be huge, as long as it is packed with the delicious, fresh fare that bees love.

Tip: If you leave a few vegetables (like radishes and rocket – which are also fast growers) to go to seed, the flowers are a firm favourite for bees, and you get free seeds!

Put out a dish of water.

Take a shallow plate, load it with pebbles and rocks, and fill it with water. Then put it outside, preferably in the shade and refill as needed.

The pebbles allow bees and butterflies to drink without falling in the water and drowning.

Plant a pollinator garden.

Besides planting vegetables and fruits, planting a garden designed for bees, using all their favourite flowers, is the best! You can make the garden seasonal so that they can have food all year round!

Think sunflowers, nasturtiums, borage (a goodie!), calendula and marigolds if you have an edible garden!

Buy organic.

By supporting organic farmers, you are supporting farming methods that don’t use pesticides, and the more people that do this, the less demand there is for these toxic chemicals.

Buy raw honey from local beekeepers.

Not only is raw honey more nutritious, but most honey bought in stores is processed, pasteurised and loaded with added sugars. So, by supporting your local beekeepers, you are ensuring that bees are taken care of.

Provide a home for solitary bees.

Solitary bees – of which there are approximately 1 300 species in South Africa – live alone. However, if you build a bee and bug hotel, you create a haven for these incredible creatures and a few other beneficial insects!

All you need is a rectangular piece of wood with several different sized holes bored into it, which mimics natural breeding nests and attracts solitary bees. They use the holes as a safe breeding place and, once they have laid their eggs, they store food for their youngsters, seal the entrance and leave.

You will find many DIY guides on YouTube, from using store-bought supplies to reclaiming and reusing things around the house.

This is a fun activity for the whole family!

Let your lawn be wild.

Bees don’t like a lawn without flowers, so instead of mowing it all, maybe square off a nice section that can grow wild and free. That includes letting some of the “weeds” be!

Weeds can be a good thing.

Do not weed your garden. Many plants like dandelion, for example, are an excellent source of food for bees. In early spring, these “weeds” are often the only source of food for beneficial insects. Lots of those weeds are often excellent food and medicine for us too.

Learn to love bees.

Bees are always looking to feed their young and store up the hive for winter. Sometimes they may mistake you for a flower and land on you.

We advise that you do not panic, sit calmly and let the bee figure out that you are, in fact, a human and not a pollen-filled daisy. They will soon fly off to find the next, real flower.

So there you have it, how do you plan to make the bees day? Let us know in the comment section if we missed any helpful tips!


Sources: GTG
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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