Celebrating World Honey Bee Day
This coming Saturday, August 21, is #WorldHoneyBeeDay and National Honey Bee Awareness Day. It’s a day that celebrates honey bees, their roles in pollination, and the importance of the honey, beeswax and other hive products they produce. It’s also a day for beekeepers to celebrate the work they do to protect this critical species.
Worldwide, of the more than 20,000 species of bees, only 7 are known to be honeybees. Here in the US, we are most familiar with the European honey bee, whose work as a crop pollinator accounts for some $15 billion in added crop value through increased yields and higher-quality harvests. They also pollinate about one-third of the food eaten by Americans.
Honey bees live in highly organized social colonies that typically comprise three types of adults: workers, drones, and a single queen. (If you’re interested, there’s a fascinating and well-written article on how these different kinds of bees collaborate to build nests, collect food, and raise young on the Mid-Atlantic Apiculture Research and Extension Consortium’s website.) Unfortunately, a number of problems plague honey bees: parasites and other pests; pathogens; poor nutrition; and exposure to pesticides.
According to the USDA, “The best action the public can take to improve honey bee survival is not to use pesticides indiscriminately. In particular, the public should avoid applying pesticides during mid-day hours, when honey bees are most likely to be out foraging for nectar and pollen on flowering plants. In addition, the public can plant pollinator-friendly plants-plants that are good sources of nectar and pollen.”
Let’s #NurtureNative. Stop by Little Red Wagon for some pesticide-free nectar rich native plants. We’d love to help you #SaveTheBees.