Just Living Monthly Challenge : Bee Aware

There are many types of bees and wasps but honeybees alone are responsible for providing us with at least 1/3 of our food supply. A few years ago beekeepers started noticing an alarming number of their bees mysteriously dying and their hives disappearing. After much research, scientists now believe that Colony Collapse Disorder is caused by several factors coming together. One main culprit is pesticides. Some newer pesticides bred into the crop seeds are killing bees directly or more insidiously by weakening their navigation and/or immune systems, thus making them more susceptible to parasites and disease. 

If There’s Only One Thing You Can Do it is SAVE BEES.

1. When planting new plants ask the nursery to make sure they are not pre-treated with pesticides and tell them to contact corporate headquarters about your request.

2. Reduce the amount of pesticides and herbicides you use and encourage your friends and family too.

3. Buy organic to support farmers that are trying to make us healthier which happens to help the bees at the same time.

4. Learn the difference between bees and wasps so you don’t accidentally kill our little pollinating friends. Bees are oval shaped and hairy with flat hairy legs for gathering pollen. Wasps, yellow jackets and hornets are smoother with a slender waist between the thorax and abdomen.

5. If you find a displaced hive or swarm of honeybees. Don’t kill them. Call your government extension agent and they will put you in touch with a local beekeeper who will gladly come get the free bees!

Take Small Steps

Buying local honey supports beekeepers and reduces the unhealthy practices of large honey producers. Beekeeping practices of large food companies require millions of hives (each hive contains 50,000 or more bees) to be transported to pollinate crops and make honey.  Moving the hives back and forth across the country to pollinate certain crops at certain times stresses the bees and deprives them of a diverse diet, thus weakening them further.

Inner Simplicity

Learning about bees and what is killing them makes you a more informed consumer—they are vital to the complex web of creation of which we are also a part.

Outer Simplicity

Bees are an important link in the food chain all over the world. Interrupting the role that bees play as pollinators can have devastating consequences to our global food supply. As Christians, we are called to be conscious of how our actions affect all of our neighbors, bees included.