Today’s Pet Parade post will be an eye opener for many, especially if you live in an urban area. Do you know it is Bee Aware Month and that you can #BeeaHero?
Bees need our help and the Bee a Hero campaign here in New Zealand hopes to raise awareness of the vital part bees play in our lives. So, how can we help bees, and why are they at risk anyway? Join Basil, Bentley and Pierre to find out.
*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
The #BeeAHero campaign aims:
1) Spotlight the huge importance of bees to New Zealand’s economy, and their place in the food chain (pollination, pollination pollination!)
2) Share ways you as a human can help bees, wherever you are.
Bees play a vital role in agriculture and biodiversity through their pollination action. Through pollen and nectar foraging, bee pollination contributes to 80% of plant species in the world, producing 84% of the cultivated species in Europe that depends directly on its pollinator role.Bee Friendly
Bee Aware Month?
Let me introduce you to one of the biggest reasons Bee Aware Month was created and #Beeahero needs to be a real #buzzword.
Meet the varroa mite whose arrival has pushed bees into the danger zone and the fight for survival that puts our world in peril.
Bees and the Varroa Mite
Stick with me on this because the varroa mite is nasty.
Varroa mites (Varroa destructor and V. jacobsoni) are tiny red-brown external parasites of honey bees. Although Varroa mites can feed and live on adult honey bees, they mainly feed and reproduce on larvae and pupae in the developing brood. They cause malformation and weakening of honey bees as well as transmitting numerous viruses. [Bee Aware]
The effect of the varroa mite has a huge impact on bees around the world and particularly for me – New Zealand. Honey bees are used specifically as pollinators and are a huge part of the New Zealand economy because no-one pollinates as well as a bee.
- No bees would mean no honey. So how can you and I help?
How You Can Help Bees
Is current pandemic times, buying local is a big way you can help your local bees both in New Zealand and worldwide.
- Grow bee friendly flowers in your garden, or a pot on a window ledge or balcony. Did you know catnip has flowers so bees like catnip too!
- Support local bee keepers by buying local honey if you can.
- Check out local varieties like rewarewa and ramahi here in New Zealand.
- Buy New Zealand bee related products.
How Gardeners Can Help Bees
- Mow your lawn a bit less often. It may not look neatly manicured but it helps bees as they enjoy a tasty meal of clover flowers and dandelions.
- Minimise your use of garden sprays. If you really must spray choose a bee friendly product (it should say on the label), and spray early in the morning or late in the evening when bees are not active.
- Never spray flowers when they are in bloom.
Bees need our help. They face many challenges: habitat loss, diseases, parasites, pesticide poisoning and the effects of climate change.Bee Aware Month
Find Out More About Bee Aware
Do you see many bees? If you live in an apartment do you see many outside?
Resources for #BeeaHero
- Pesticide Research Institute – USA Bee Friendly Garden tips.
- Bee photographs DashKitten & Envato.com
- Bee Aware sponsors (including delicious hunny!)
- Bee Friendly Label
- Bee keeping events in New Zealand
- Learn about bees (pdf)
- Learn about Honey (pdf)