by Asirah Abdul Kadir
You’ve laughed at all the Bee Movie memes. You’ve most probably tasted honey before. You’ve also heard about the news that the bee population is declining rapidly and you’ve acknowledged the “Save The Bees” campaign, but have you ever thought about what you ⎼ as Earth’s humble resident ⎼ can do to keep the bees alive?
First of all, we must recognize that these busy bees are a crucial part of our ecosystem and e-commerce. They pollinate flowers and give us that delicious honey we enjoy with our pancakes. In fact, they contribute to at least 70% of all crops that end up in our daily meals! Think soybeans, broccoli, cucumber, peaches, almonds and more. Bees also pollinate clover and alfalfa, which are fed to cattle, so even our meat will be compromised. So, let’s explore what we can do to help our tiny, hardworking friends.
To begin, buying raw honey is not only a good way to directly support beekeepers, it also tastes 100 times better. Buying raw honey keeps our beekeepers employed which allows them to continue their efforts to preserve the honeybee population. On the other hand, natural products are finer than processed goods in terms of taste and health benefits. Raw honey is rich in vitamin A, C, D, E and B-complex which is great for healing wounds!
If you have green fingers and you’re thinking of planting a little garden, why not plant some flowers that are bee-friendly? Purple coloured plants can be seen more clearly by bees than any other colour so go plant yourself some lavenders. Not only will they attract bees, they smell good too! If you want to add a bold pop of yellow to your garden, plant a sunflower. All in all, it’s recommended to plant bright coloured and pollinating plants such as lilacs, sage, mint and more.
In addition to your garden, you can add a small basin of freshwater as bees do get thirsty after a long day of work. Just fill up a small bowl with some water and pebbles for them to crawl on to and voila, you’ve got yourself a bee bath. It’ll be a nice place for the bees to freshen up and quench their thirst. Just be sure to change the water daily to avoid mosquitoes from breeding there.
It can be hard to imagine how you, as a city dweller among glass and steel high-rises, can directly affect the bees. The solution is a pretty obvious, green one: plant a rooftop garden or advocate for the edifices you’re associated with to invest in one. Let the weeds grow and heed the advice mentioned before about the purple flowers! Besides, a flower garden can also act as cute Instagram spot to make you feel like a Parisian reading a book in the spring time.
Other than that, keep an eye out for petitions regarding the bees. They’re usually about banning pesticides that hurt our yellow friends – the pesticides and insecticides affect the central nervous system of our bees, causing states of confusion and disorientation and ultimately, their demise. Read more here: shorturl.at/juGKL.
If you’re not aware of My Bee Saviour or Penyelamat Lebah Malaysia. They’re an NGO group initiated by Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Mardi) in 2015, which has volunteers responding to homes or offices where hives are found, to translocate the hives to a one-acre site – Bee Sanctuary – in the Mardi office in Serdang, Selangor. Should you find a hive within the vicinity of your home, do give them a call!
So, those are a few things that you can do to help our fuzzy friends to continue surviving on our planet. You don’t have to cash out a lot of money to help, it’s all in the small things. Hopefully with all your help, our buzzy friends can get back to nurturing our ecosystem.