Honeybees are marvels of evolution, and help keep our environment healthy and diverse. They are the only bees that live in a community over winter, and make honey for that purpose. Their complex and hardworking colonies pollinate 80% of all flowering plants in the US, including more than 130 types of fruits and vegetables.
You don’t have to be a beekeeper to help honeybees. You can support honeybees and beekeepers by learning to identify honeybees and other pollinators, and establishing bee-friendly practices in your yard and home environment. What you do and don’t do in your own backyards can have an impact on the health of the honeybee population, as well as other valuable pollinators that our environment depends on.
Planting good forage, particularly for honeybees, and educating yourself on the harmful pesticides that can be found in household and residential products is important. Spreading the word to your friends and neighbors, and encouraging your municipality to choose pollinator friendly plantings and pesticide free practices, will significantly improve the viability of our valuable pollinators.
Winter is the best time to start learning and planning for the spring. Equipment and bees need to be ordered in the winter, and then you need to get ready for your bees to arrive.
There are more threats than ever to honeybee populations including climate change, habitat loss and fragmentation, pathogens spread by commercially managed bees, pesticides, and invasive parasites. A beekeeper's duty is to help the colonies they manage thrive despite the growing number of challenges honeybees face.
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