Saturday, September 26, 2009

CONSERVATION: Keeping Honey Bees From Extinction - 5 Ways That You Can Hel

By Jane Vaughan

The decline of honey bees across the world is a hot news topic right now. The reasons for the decline are complex and many are interlinked - for example, is our over use of pesticides weakening the honey bees immune system, so that they are more likely to suffer from common viruses?

Becoming a honey beekeeper is a great way to help, but there are other simple steps that everyone can take. Here are five of the easiest:

  1. Stop using chemical insecticides. Rather than buying the chemical products available from most garden centres, try using more natural ways of ridding your garden of pests. Try also to encourage your neighbours to do the same and work together.
  2. Get a bird bath. It may surprise you but the bees get thirsty too. Fill a birdbath or similar container with water, especially on hot days. It doesn't matter if the water gets muddy as this will provide the bees with much needed nutrients. It's a good idea to keep it shallow or put a few pebbles in the container to make it easier for the bees to access the water.
  3. Keep your garden (a little bit) wild. It's a good idea to leave an area of your garden a bit untidy with a few wild flowers growing, and some dense foliage. These days too many of us are paving over our gardens, or installing decking. This may look nice to us but doesn't provide food or shelter to wildlife.
  4. Lots of variety in your garden. It is believed that one of the reasons for the disappearing bees is the lack of variety in their diet - vast fields of one crop for example. Like any animal, bees need a variety of nutrients to function correctly, so vary your plants and also remember the winter months.
  5. Plant wild flowers secretly. This may sound slightly mad, but why not buy a packet or two of wild flower seed and scatter it in areas of local wasteland to provide more areas of food for the local bees. Just be careful of the spot you choose - don't select an area where the seed could blow into local gardens, or spoil a local flower display.
These are just a few of the ways in which you can start keeping honey bees from extinction. If everyone works together to tackle this problem we can still save the honey bee, if not, we may just find out whether Einstein was right.

My name is Jane Vaughan and I enjoy researching how a natural lifestyle can improve our quality of life. If you share my concern about keeping honey bees from extinction and would like to learn more about beekeepng visit my website at

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