Do you love melons, almonds, cherries and tomatoes? Me too! We need bees to pollinate these fruits and vegetables (and many more), but we are losing honey bee colonies at an alarming rate. August 18 is designated as National Honey Bee Day to bring awareness and education about the honey bee industry.
Honey bees are really fascinating creatures. They do double duty of pollinating plants to produce flowers, fruits and vegetables as well as produce their own food source of honey. Did you know they are the only insects that provide a food source for us?
There is so much I didn’t know about honey bees, but had a blast learning. Did you know outside of the primate family, honey bees have the most complex symbolic language on Earth? Check out this site for a more in-depth understanding of the role of the bees in their colony (also known as a hive).
Plus, here is another site that gives you all sorts of cool facts about bees and honey such as:
- The average worker bee produces only about 1/12 teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.
- The honey bee’s wings stroke incredibly fast, about 200 beats per second, thus making their famous, distinctive buzz. A honey bee can fly for up to six miles, and as fast as 15 miles per hour.
I use honey in all sorts of recipes, and as a spread on my morning toast and in my tea. I knew it was good for me, but didn’t realize how complete a food source it really is.
Unfortunately, honey bee hives are dying at a rapid rate. Bees are critical to our food supply, so let’s all do what we can to ensure we are helping these industrious insects flourish.
Six steps to help the honey bee flourish:
- Plant bee-friendly plants around your home. Flowering trees, flowers and flowering herbs all provide necessary food and habitat. Find a list here.
- Let the weeds grow. Clover and dandelions are favorite food sources for bees, so you can feel good about leaving a few in your yard.
- Don’t use commercial pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. These chemicals are considered one of the key reasons for the loss of bees, and they aren’t good for our own families’ soil and water supply. Make your own organic pesticides.
- Supply a water source. Just like the birds and butterflies, bees get thirsty, so make sure you have a source of fresh water outside. Here is a way to do it without inviting mosquitoes too.
- Create a bee habitat. Most of us aren’t apiarists, but we can make sure we have natural habitats for our local bees. This would be a fun project to do as a family. Check out this how-to guide here.
- Buy local organic fruits, vegetables and honey. Support the farmers who are using organic methods, and are providing you with delicious and nutritious foods. Your local grocery store now carries a large selection of organic produce.
Check out these delicious recipes using honey:
Search for your favorite dishes in your DinnerTime Recipe Box.