The life of a honey bee is pretty straightforward. The queen lays eggs and keeps the hive productive. Worker bees devote their days to collecting resources, making honey, and caring for the hive. Meanwhile, drones live to mate with another queen and keep the honey bee population booming. Despite this hard work, however, honey bee populations face some serious threats in the world. It’s important to keep our beloved pollinators safe from these dangers so that they can continue to work hard maintaining their hives, pollinating our plants, and benefiting the overall environment. You can help by learning more about the main threats to honey bees and what you can do to fight them.
Climate change affects seasons, environments, and all the creatures living within them—including flowering plants and their pollinators. Temperature changes cause plants to migrate north toward cooler temperatures. Problems occur when honey bees and other pollinators don’t move in sync with them. Honey bees rely on these plants for pollen and nectar, while these plants rely on honey bees to spread their pollen and help them reproduce. Without this balance, both populations suffer.
Habitat Loss and Degradation
Poorer habitat quality and the loss of pollinator habitats are two more of the main threats to honey bees. Commercial agriculture, urban and suburban expansion, and other developments projects have led to the destruction of natural plant life. This leaves honey bees with fewer sources of food and water as well as fewer safe spaces to make their hives. Fortunately, you can help honey bees deal with habitat loss and climate change by providing safe and abundant resources for your local populations. Maintaining a bee-friendly garden or even keeping your own honey bees with our beehive starter kit are great ways to create a safe environment for honey bees.
The Use of Pesticides
Pesticides can effectively keep bugs away from gardens and crop fields. Unfortunately, this also works against your garden’s most beneficial visitors. Pesticides—especially the kind that linger on plants and in the soil—act as poisons that contaminate the pollen that honey bees collect from your garden to feed the rest of their hive. Even if this contamination is nonlethal, it can still negatively affect the honey bees’ ability to forage for food, defend their hive, and fight off diseases. Try opting for organic herbicides or other natural garden solutions that are safe for your plants and their pollinators.
How do you protect the honey bees in your environment? Share your stories with us in the comments below.