"There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. "
Henry David Thoreau
(As always, if you are pressed for time, scroll down to the WHAT CAN YOU DO section.)
I think that as we begin to take action, we start to see how interconnected life and social/political systems are, and we realize that making a contribution in one area frequently ripples into other areas. As I began to research this week’s blog on the importance of bees, I realized that two of my previous blog entries (Wildflowers and Rescue Gardening, published on July 3, 2011, and Reconsidering Lawns, published on July 11, 2011) touch on subjects that I will be covering here. Make a positive change in one area, and it ripples.
If this entry does nothing else, I hope it helps you see bees in a different light. There are a number of wonderful videos you can access that I really recommend. This is a wonderful discussion about bees and bee keepers, this is a great video about pollinators in general, and this is a great video on flowering plants and the evolution of pollinating insects. Each is about 20 minutes long, but well worth it.
If you want a shorter video, then click on here for a great summary of bees and bee keepers.
I’m not going to repeat myself with regards to wildflowers or turf grass lawns (which I love and hate respectively). In fact, the next month of blog entries will be much briefer due to time constraints. (Hey, I heard that collective sigh of relief!) However, I will point out that bees are critical to our environmental health, and that bee keepers (who are really struggling) need our support.
While honey bees are receiving most of the attention because of their importance to agriculture and economic systems, Colony Collapse Disorder is affecting all bees. Making the world better for bees will also make the world better for us…so, BEE ACTIVE!
WHAT YOU CAN DO
1. Take advantage of your lowly blog writer and watch some of the videos and/or read some of the items I have provided for you.
2. Save more wildflowers and plant more wildflowers (see blog entry July 3). You can also click here .
3. When you see these flowers planted in public spaces, get in touch with the company/organisation that planted them and let them know how much you appreciate it. Some that I've come across in the last week have been planted at Metro stations and in parks.
4. Reconsider your turf grass lawn (see blog entry July 11 – and yes, I am aware of the fact that I have become one of those annoying people who self-cites – sue me!)
5. Go to The North American Pollinator Protection Campaign and see what you can do to help.
6. Buy local honey and support your local bee keeper
7. Buy honey - period
8. Adopt a hive, or give one as a gift. Go to The Heifer Project. I can tell you from experience that this makes a great gift, and that in terms of the ‘ripple effect’, this is one of the most powerful things you can do. These hives provide families in the underdevelopping world with an opportunity to work their way out of poverty, to educate their children, and it also provides their communities with bees (and you should know by now how important that is!)