How Can We Save Bees?
We’ll all celebrate National Honeybee Day later this week!
To prepare, learn how mycologist Paul Stamets and Washington State University researchers in this special short film Louie Schwartzberg directed for the California Academy of Sciences’ bioGraphic magazine.
You Can Save Your Local Bees
There are a lot of ways that everyday people can help. It starts by appreciating the beauty of pollination!
Keeping bees in your backyard or planting bee-friendly plants are great ways to help the bees. The most important thing everyone should do is commit to learning more and staying involved. After all, the bees need us but we need them, too.
Brigit Strawbridge Howard, the author of Dancing with Bees: a Journey Back to Nature, recently shared some powerful advice with Living on Earth. Follow these suggestions to protect your local pollinators!
- Cultivate a wider variety of plants in your home: “With these 20,000, 25,000 different species of bee, clearly it’s not a case of one plant suits all bees, or one bee pollinates all plants. So we need to increase diversity.”
- Use pesticide alternatives: “Once you stop using the insecticide, you know, a whole host of beneficial insects move in and they take care of the pests for you.”
- Observe the natural environment around you: “If there’s no interest in one plant, but another is just covered in insects throughout the day, then maybe plant more of the one that’s covered in insects.”
Agricultural Solutions for the Bees
The bees need our help, but we need them, too. Bees help pollinate 80% of cultivated crops, enabling millions of people to eat.
Some of the most effective, cutting-edge solutions are related to permaculture and biodiversity. As we celebrate National Honeybee Day, here are some of the ways that farmers, researchers, and everyday people are trying to save the bees.
Farmers are turning to biodiversity for increased sustainability as the bee population declines. Incorporating bees into their farms is a great way for individual farmers to do their part in maintaining the bee population. This has several key benefits for farmers. It ensures their crops get pollinated. It adds another income stream if they sell the honey. Finally, it helps educate the next generation of farmers about the importance of bees.
Researchers like Paul Stamets and others at Washington State University are working hard to learn about how fungi could help battle the deadly viruses that threaten the survival of both human beings and bees. In fact, they’ve discovered that “bees in hives treated with Metarhizium tend to be much healthier and live longer than those in untreated hives.”
Read more about Paul’s BeeMushroomed Feeder as well!
In the past, agricultural departments at universities have frequently limited their courses to animal husbandry, forestry, and land management. This is beginning to change, however, as people realize how dependent agriculture is on a healthy planet.
Want to learn more? Watch Fantastic Fungi on Apple TV!