How can I help “Save the Bees?”
I get asked this question a lot, and perhaps somewhat surprisingly, the answer isn’t ‘ become a bee keeper’ (there’s a lot of evidence that feral bees are doing just ok, often better than kept honey bees), and our transport of bees/honey/pollen around the world in the age of globalization has done a great job of transporting parasites, viruses, and other maladies, which have now started crossing to other species.
So you want to ‘save the bees’, then start thinking about all insects, and our use of toxins in the food system. Here’s recent reply to a visitor of our website which sums things up as succinctly as I can:
———- Forwarded message ———
From: Peter Brezny <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, Oct 11, 2018 at 4:17 PM
Subject: Re: Interest in becoming a Bee Guardian
To: <redacted for privacy>
Thanks for the note and your interest in protecting pollinators on our planet.
Sounds like you’re heavy into food systems and education. Well done!
As I hope became clear from your reading on our website, honey bees are the economic indicator we follow that helps us understand just how much peril all insects are in at the present time. Only 2% of insects on the planet are harmful to crops, and many of the other 98% are ‘pest’ insect predators!. All of them are in drastic decline and pesticides (duh)/climate change are the problem.
The very best thing you can do to protect pollinators is not to become a beekeeper, but to work to create pollinator habitat, and advocate for pesticide free zones and organic farming/chemical free farming techniques. Everyone with a yard has the chance to create a safe habitat for pollinators.
There are a lot of excellent resources directly related to this:
Keep up the great work!
NCSBA Journeyman Certified Beekeeper