The Plight Of The Honeybee And How You Can Help

Posted on: 20 May 2016

Honeybees do more than just make honey. They are responsible for pollinating thousands of species of plants, from wildflowers to the apricots and almonds you enjoy at breakfast. Unfortunately, honeybee populations have been declining, due in part to increased agricultural pesticide use and the transformation of hedges and trees into farmer's fields. Without a healthy honeybee population, some of the foods you enjoy the most will eventually become unsustainable or impossible to grow, and the world will certainly be less beautiful. But if everyone works together, honeybee populations may be able to be preserved. Here's a look at what you can do as an average homeowner.

Contact a bee removal service rather than spraying hives.

Bees really can be pests when they build hives in any hollow structure on your property. In hopes of preventing stings, your first thought may be to use a spray from your local home improvement store to kill the bees. But with each bee you kill, you increase the threat to the honeybee population. There is an alternative to spraying those bees' nests. Contact a local bee removal company or bee keeper in your area. Most will come remove the bees and their nests -- often free of charge -- and either relocate them to a more remote area or add them to their own hives. You may have to be patient and stay away from the hive for a few days while you wait for the bee removal company to arrive, but you'll be doing the bee population, the environment, and the food supply a big favor.

Use natural insect control measures in your garden and yard.

You may not intend to hurt bees when you spray your tomato plants for aphids or sprinkle insecticides on your lawn to ward off grubs. But many of these pesticides kill not only the pesky insects you're trying to be rid of, but also the honeybees. Some have an effect on young immature bees, preventing them from ever growing into mature adults. To help preserve the honeybee population, avoid use of chemical pesticides in your yard and garden, and instead employ natural insect control measures such as the following:

  • Keep the yard free of debris and weeds to reduce its attraction of insects.
  • Work diatomaceous earth into the soil where you think grubs may be present. This will kill the grubs but won't harm the bees since they're unlikely to come into direct contact with the soil.
  • Introduce ladybugs to your garden. These beneficial insects feed on aphids and mites.
  • Use floating row covers to cover your plants, keeping the insects away from sensitive crops like Swiss chard, spinach and carrots.

Take measures to prevent bees from building nests on your property.

Better than relocating a bee hive is preventing the bees from building one in a inconvenient location in the first place. To make your home less appealing to honeybees, make sure you seal up any holes you find in structures like porch pillars, deck boards, or fence posts. Bees can enter a hole and build a nest inside these structures -- and these nests are tough even for experienced bee handlers to remove without harming at least some of the bees. Typically, you can fill a hole by just stuffing it with wood putty from a home improvement store.

You can also make your home and yard less attractive to bees by cleaning up outdoor clutter. Stacks of old boards, old appliances, and lawn equipment are prime nesting grounds for bees. As structures like decks and fences become worn and filled with more holes than you can fill, replace them promptly.

A decline in the honeybee population is not good for agriculture. While you cannot single-handedly save all the bees, you can do your part by following the advice above in your own home and yard.

For more information, contact a company like U.S. Pest Control