August 17th is National Honey Bee Day! It’s a day to celebrate bees and bring together beekeepers and bee enthusiasts of all backgrounds to highlight the important role that bees play in our daily lives.
There are over 19,000 different species of bees globally, who are responsible for pollinating 30 percent of the world’s food crops and 90 percent of our wild plants. Bees are absolutely essential to sustain life on this earth as we know it.
For the last 15 years, bee populations have been declining at an alarming rate largely due to climate change, habitat loss and pesticide use. Fewer bees mean fewer crops which not only impact food security, but also the economy and maintenance of a healthy ecosystem.
“Sadly, more than one third of all bee species are facing declines in population and almost ten percent are facing complete extinction,” said Flow Hive co-inventor Cedar Anderson.
“But the exciting thing is that there are so many tiny actions all of us can do to play a part in protecting bees. Protecting bees is not just the job of beekeepers – we all have a role, and it can start in our own backyards,” Anderson said.
Let’s celebrate National Bee Day by creating thriving habitats for these essential little pollinators. Here are 5 easy things we can all do to help bees thrive.
STEP 1: Put the sprays away!
Pesticides are recognized as one of the leading threats to pollinators worldwide. Garden pesticides can be replaced with natural alternatives such as garlic, onion or salt spray, soap & orange citrus oil or even chili or pepper spray. Remember even natural sprays can harm pollinators so make sure to only use them outside of foraging hours.
STEP 2: Plant bee-friendly flowers.
Even if you don’t keep bees, planting a bee friendly garden is something anyone can do.
Find plants that bloom at different times of the year. Support a range of different pollinators throughout the different seasons. Trees and shrubs produce much higher quantities of pollen and nectar; however, smaller plants produce forage more regularly – it’s great to have a selection of both.
STEP 3: Let your garden get a little messy!
Be garden lazy! Let your veggie and herb plants flower and let the dandelions bloom – the bees get to forage and you get some time off gardening duties – win-win!
STEP 4: Help educate children on the importance of pollinators.
Educating children about bees and pollinators is a great way to get them involved with caring for the environment and provides an excellent excuse to get them outdoors and off the screens! If you have a vegetable garden, this can be a fun way to introduce the importance of pollinators – we need them to pollinate one-third of our food crops and 90% of our wild plants.
STEP 5: Become a beekeeper!
Discover the fascinating world and experience how caring for your own colony connects with your local environment. There’s never been a more important time to act.
Born out of a concern of the decline of the honey bee, second and third generation father and son beekeepers, Stuart and Cedar Anderson, invented a beehive that allows for easier honey extraction. Their ‘Flow Hive’ harvests honey in a simpler way, straight from the hive and into a jar, making it gentler on the bees and much easier for the beekeeper.
“The Flow Hive speaks to the yearning in so many of us to be more in touch with the food we eat and more connected with the natural world. Our hive makes beekeeping easier and more accessible for thousands of people to enjoy this wonderful hobby which also benefits the planet,” Flow Hive co-inventor Stuart Anderson said.
The Flow Hive is being used on the rooftops of The Intercontinental Hotel and the Barclay Hotel in New York, The Ritz-Carlton in Charlotte, North Carolina, at The Hague in Europe, Government House in the heart of Sydney, and at Parliament House in Canberra Australia.
Cedar and Stuart Anderson have supported grassroots pollinator projects in the USA and Australia by producing upcycled Pollinator Houses with all profits donated in the form of micro-grants to projects supporting habitat regeneration, protection and advocacy for bees. Flow Hive is also a Certified B Corp, helping to lead a global movement of people using business for a force of good. For more information about Flow Hive visit www.honeyflow.com.