The Needs of Bees Are the Bee’s Knees

bee3by Annie Means, Plant Health Management major

“Save the bees!” “The bees are dying!” “What will happen without honeybees?”

“I don’t live on a farm, or anywhere near wilderness; there is no way I could keep bees!”

Actually, you can, and honeybees may even prefer it!

Urban beekeeping has become quite the trend. As a part of the Green movement, beekeeping for environmental and personal health has caught the attention of many. Hive boxes of various sizes are set up for colonies in backyards all around urban and suburban areas. The many flowers in surrounding neighborhoods provide excellent food sources for the bees to forage.

Some municipalities and townships may not allow beekeeping. Those not able to keep bees in their area can support bee populations by planting flowers that produce an abundant amount of nectar and pollen. Honeybees can forage miles away from their hives, and store found pollen and nectar to make the honey they feed on.

What types of flowers would those be, you ask? A quick Google search will give you an infinite number of lists of plants to choose from. After planting, keeping chemicals harmful to bees away from your lawn is essential; after all, the goal is to welcome the bees, not shoo them away. In return, the bees will pollinate your flowers, and provide honey.

Honeybees are vital to the environment and to us; every attempt at saving them is more helpful than we realize. If keeping colonies is something that interests you, beekeeping associations and many other programs offer basic beekeeping workshops to help beginners start their colonies.

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This blog post was an assignment for  Societal Issues: Pesticides, Alternatives and the Environment (PLNTPTH 4597). The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the class, Department of Plant Pathology or the instructor.

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