You don't have to be a beekeeper to help honey bees.


Hope you had a chance to listen to the 12/12/12 Dirtbag show--it was the first annual beekeeping edition. Portland author Rosanna Mattingly was one of the guests. She talked about her new book, Honey-Maker: How the Honey Bee Worker Does What She Does. In the book she suggests some easy ways to help the honey bee; here they are:

Some Easy Ways to Help the Honey Bee (and other pollinators, too)

  • We have many ways to begin now to help the honey bee. We need not look far to do so. Among them, we might consider:
  • Learning where our food comes from and how much of it requires or benefits from pollination
  • Planting a vegetable garden that feeds both ourselves and the worker’s colony, even at times when other resources are unavailable
  • Cultivating an herb garden; the worker will be able to visit late in the season when squashes and blackberries no longer bloom
  • Choosing bee plants and planting bee gardens
  • Adding bee plants to junctions between large agricultural fields
  • Incorporating inviting ground covers, such as sedum, in our gardens
  • Occasionally letting plants such as leek and radish “go to seed”
  • Planting bee-attractive cover crops, such as crimson clover
  • Allowing dandelions and clover to enter our lawns; the worker never tires of either
  • Alternatively, planting a clover lawn or a lawn of native grasses
  • Eliminating or using reduced amounts of herbicides and pesticides
  • Choosing the least toxic formulations and least hazardous means of applying herbicides and pesticides if we do use them
  • Purchasing honey and other products from the hive from local sources—a beekeeper, a farmers market, or a fruit stand
  • Continuing to learn about honey bees and other pollinators
  • Telling others about honey bees
  • Supporting beekeeping in all areas—which may require changes in legislation and local ordinances, particularly in some urban areas
  • Helping a beekeeper—or becoming one!
  • Taking a moment each day to appreciate the wonder of it all


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