Our last Ladies Lunch and Learn was all about the Bees, Monarchs and Honey in your Skincare. Susan from The Carolina Honey Bee graciously talked about bees and all the goodness that they do for us. Bees are the best of the pollinators and are such busy little guys.
Bees have been on the decline for several reason:
- Pesticides like Neonicotinoids
- Varroa Mites – is a type of tick that compresses the immune system of the bee.
- Long Travel pollinating only 1 crop at any given time.
Poor bees have a hard job pollinating on commercial farms. Every year thousands of bees are transported by the tractor trailer loads to pollinate almonds in California. Can you imagine eating the same food for days and weeks at a time? Well that’s what happens to bees on the journey. All they have for acres and acres are almonds. It would greatly help if the almond growers planted wildflowers or something else so that the bees have some variety.
After the almonds they will travel to Washington State to pollinate the apples and will eventually go to Maine to pollinate the blueberries. This is very hard on the bees but is a very lucrative business for the bee keepers. They receive about $200/ hive and there are about 400 hives/tractor trailer load.
What are some things that we can do to help support bees:
- Leave those dandelions, clover and golden rod in your yard.
- Avoid Pesticides like neonicotinoid and even Seven Dust
Neonics are systemic pesticides. Unlike contact pesticides, which remain on the surface of the treated foliage, systemics are taken up by the plant and transported to all the tissues (leaves, flowers, roots and stems, as well as pollen and nectar).
- Plant native plants that attract pollinators – here is a list of plants recommended by the Master Gardener Program. To purchase plants, check out their Annual Plant Sale on Saturday, April 30, 2016.
- Learn how to attract native pollinators at Xerces.
- Plant a Bee Garden. Honeybee Conservancy has some great info!
- Become a Hobby Bee Keeper. If you want to learn more about bee keeping be sure to check out Susan with Carolina Honeybee.
- And most importantly BUY LOCAL HONEY! Local honey is raw and still has good stuff in it. Grocery store honey has been pasteurized to make it shelf stable.
Be sure to check out the blog post about the Monarchs and Honey in Your Skincare.