The other day I spoke about how to plant a bee-friendly garden. But what if you don’t have a garden or access to any green space? Not to worry, you can still help the bees. Here’s how you can help bees and ‘bee’ a friendly person!
How to Help Bees
Don’t pick any wildflowers, no matter how pretty they look. Leave them for the bees and other pollinators. These provide vital food sources for our fuzzy friends.
Learn how to revive tired bees correctly. It turns out sugar water isn’t always best for bees, and bees often rest on the ground as part of their day, so don’t be so quick to offer sugar water.
Is there any derelict land or space in your town/city? Be a guerrilla gardener and scatter some wildflower seeds in any available space to help the bees and other pollinators.
Window boxes are great and low maintenance. Even a pot of lavender by your door is better than nothing and really helps the bees.
Sign petitions and email your local MP about how banned bee-harming pesticides are now approved for use in the UK, despite the fact that scientific studies have linked the use of these chemicals to the falling numbers of honeybees, wild bees and other plant pollinators.
Consider What You Buy
Don’t have space for a window box or plant pot and wondering how to help? You can still shop with the bees in mind. Some stores, including Neal’s Yard, are donating 3% of every product sold from their Bee Lovely Collection* to projects that help save the bees. Meanwhile, Yope’s Linden range* is dedicated to rescuing bee habitats. Part of their profits from their Linden range is donated to bee-friendly charities that focus on creating wildflower meadows.
If you’d like your honey to come with a little less effort then you can help the bees by buying your honey from responsible suppliers. If you can, buy your honey from a known source (ideally from bees kept on organic or uncultivated land), where the honey is produced by individual bee-keepers who practice balanced bee-keeping. Asking through your local Facebook page is often a good place to start.
Take Action To Help The Bees
There are also more involved ways to help. One of these is to become a beekeeper! Yes, that’s right! You don’t need much space – perhaps a balcony or rooftop if you have easy and safe access to yours.
From speaking with friends who keep bees, becoming a beekeeper is much easier than you think. One of my friends has recently become a beekeeper. She has never been stung by a bee before, so has had to get an Epi-Pen from her GP, in case she has an adverse reaction.
Here’s a handy guide to starting out keeping bees as a hobby, from Scottish Beekeepers. Another good reference point is also the British Beekeepers Association website, which talks you through all you need to know. It’s an incredibly rewarding hobby, and you’ll also be bestowed with lots of lovely honey, as well as helping the bees!
If all that sounds much too hard work, or keeping bees just isn’t practical for you, then there are less involved ways to take action. You can help bees by holding a bake sale at work, college, or the local fete. Then donate the takings to a bee-friendly charity, such as the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.
What Will You Do To Help?
Inspired? Let me know in the comments below if you do any of these or come up with your own ideas on how to help bees!