Get the Buzz on Ways to Help Bees
Have you ever heard the phrase “the bee’s knees”? It means that something is really cool. We love this saying because we think that bees are the bee’s knees.
Unfortunately, the number of bees in the world is getting smaller and smaller. This is scary because our planet needs them: If bees die off, other species will die off, too! That’s how important these insects are, and we have to do everything we can to protect them. Try some (or all) of these ways to help bees—the planet will thank you, and you’ll be the bee’s knees. 🙂
Don’t Use Honey
Bees make honey because they need to eat it. Just like there are factory farms for other animals like pigs and cows, there are large bee farms that treat these insects inhumanely. Some farmers cut off queen bees’ wings so that they can’t leave their colony. In nature, bees eat the honey that they work hard to make, but on factory farms, they’re given a sugar substitute to eat instead and commercial honey producers take their honey and sell it. When it gets cold outside and bees no longer produce honey, they’re sometimes killed and their hives are destroyed because it’s cheaper than keeping them alive. 🙁
Luckily, there are a lot of bee-free sweeteners—including agave nectar, maple syrup, and molasses—that you can use that won’t harm any insects.
A worker bee visits up to 10,000 flowers in one day to collect nectar. (Wow, that’s a lot of flowers!) Plant some colorful flowers in your yard or garden so that bees have more plants to collect nectar from—plus, you’ll make the world a more beautiful place. If you don’t have a yard, create an urban garden on your roof or balcony.
Here are some types of flowers that bees really love:
- Anise hyssop
- Bee balm
Help Tired Bees With Sugar Water
If you see bees lying around, they might be too tired to keep flying, but the good news is that you can help by making them a super-simple “energy drink.” Just mix together a little bit of sugar with some water. Place a spoonful of the mixture on a plate and lean a ramp made out of paper against it in order to help bees reach the sugar water. Be patient. A few minutes after they’ve had a drink, they should have the strength to fly again.
Help Bees Get Out of Your House
Humans live in houses, and bees live outside—and both of us want to keep it that way. But sometimes, bees find their way indoors. To get them back outside safely, place a cup over the bee, then carefully slide a piece of paper under the cup. Bring the cup and paper outside and release the bee.
Under 13? Ask your parents bee-fore you continue!