By now I'm sure you've heard that our bee populations is plummeting. In the United States, where a majority of bee research has taken place, more than 25 percent of the managed honey bee population has disappeared since 1990. In Canada, the numbers are similar. How and why these numbers are dropping, scientists are unsure, but there are things that we all can do to help to ensure that we get to eat our fresh local fruit and produce.
Provide Some Bee Grub
Bee's enjoy a good snack. There favorites include nectar and pollen; two things which can be acquired through flowering plants. Here are a few rules to remember when trying to find a good pollinator blend:
Build a Bee house
One of the nicest, friendliest bee that you can attract is the mason bee. No, I'm not pollen your leg, bees can actually be pretty docile. So if you're a little nervous, these are the busy bodies for you. According to the David Suzuki Foundation, this is the best way to build a mason bee house:
Make a Bee Bath
- Line a shallow bowl or plate with rocks.
- Add water, but leave the rocks as dry islands to serve as landing pads.
- Place the bath at the ground level in your garden. (Put it near "problem plants" — those that get aphids, for example — and the beneficial insects that come to drink will look after them.)
- Refresh the water daily, adding just enough to evaporate by day's end.