By now you’ve probably heard that bees are in big trouble.
Bee populations began declining in the 1990s but it wasn’t until 2006 when entire colonies began to disappear that the world began to take notice.
Scientist believe the phenomenon known as “Colony Collapse Disorder” may be caused be several factors including loss of crop diversity, increased exposure to systemic pesticides and pathogens.
Why Bees Matter
The importance of bees in human existence cannot be overstated:
- 85% of plants exist because of bees.
- 1/3 of all the food we eat is pollinated by bees—everything from almonds to zucchini.
- Bees also pollinate grasses like clover and alfalfa that feed cows which provide milk, cheese and beef.
What Can I Do?
Many natural and organic companies like Whole Foods Market are teaming up to raise awareness and offer solutions to the bee crisis. Here are just a few ideas as part of their “Share the Buzz” campaign.
- Bee organic. Buying organic is one of the easiest ways to support bee-friendly habitats.
- Bee a gardener. Plant bee-friendly fruits and flowers to provide forage for honey bees. Ask your local garden center for a bee-friendly list or follow these tips for a bee-friendly garden.
- Bee savvy at home. Limit the use of lawn and garden chemicals in favor of natural/organic alternatives.
- Bee a smart shopper. At Whole Foods Market, several suppliers have donated funds to support honey bee preservation. Look for “Share the Buzz” signs on their products throughout the store.
- Bee a beekeeper. No matter where you live--in the country or the city--you can show your commitment by hosting a hive in your backyard or even on a rooftop. The backyard beekeeping movement is growing, so you’re sure to find swarms of folks who can help you find your way.
- Bee social. Social media can be a powerful tool to share the buzz about bees. Post your stories, videos and more honey bee action ideas on our facebook page.
Whole Foods Market