AltUse Find - Honey Bee Awareness

Bees make honey. Honey is awesome

We have bees to thank for the wondrous natural sweetener that is honey. Their busy-ness nets the truly fascinating and beneficial sweet goo; though it depends on the floral variety of honey, but many may include body-boosters like niacin, riboflavin, calcium, and iron, and it's known for its antioxidant value. Read More
In fact, a study out of the University of California-Davis detected higher levels of polyphenolic antioxidants in participants after just one month of regular honey "use." Other studies confirm that honey contains numerous antioxidants, including chrysin, pinobanksin, vitamin C, catalase, and pinocembrin; all of these help to prevent and repair cellular damage. But the best part might be this: In a world of the Stevia, Equal, and even cane sugar (ultra-processed or otherwise), local, raw, organic honey might be the greenest sweetener out there.

Bees pollinate 1/3 of the world's food

Right, so bees make honey, but part of the process involves the easy-to-overlook plant pollination. And what does that do? Plants that go from blossom to fruit -- think celery, onions, watermelon, even brazil nuts and coffee -- need bees' help in the pollination process. Without bees, a huge amount of the world's food does come to fruition (here's a full list of crop plants that need bees to make a go of it). And it doesn't stop there; while other plants don't need bees to pollinate them, anyone with a garden will tell you how much easier they make the process. You can get out there and try to get your tomatoes and summer squash going by yourself, or you can just invite the bees to do it for you. Bees may be small, but they have a huge impact on our planet's food system.

Bee populations are collapsing, and no one knows why

Colony collapse disorder has gone from a relatively unknown phenomenon to a big problem that is befuddling scientists around the globe. Here's the gist: Whether by disease, climate variation, or other unknown cause, bees are disappearing in huge numbers (and not coming back). Entire colonies are collapsing, and that means less honey, less pollination, and a huge, irreplaceable hole in our planetary food system. It's scary stuff.

Bees are our friends. Help them.

So the first national day to spread awareness about the awesomeness of bees couldn't come at a better time. Here are some things you can do to help the buzzing beauties stick around awhile longer:
Plant flowers and plants bees love. Native flowering plants, wildflowers, and long-flowering plants like clover and lavender will attract bees, and give them lots of pollen, so they'll stick around.
Stay away from pesticides. Bees are sensitive little guys (and gals), so don't bother with pesticides.
Keep some of your own. Urban and suburban beekeeping is becoming more and more popular, so it's easier than ever to keep them in your backyard. You'll give them a good home, help keep more of them alive, and, in return, they'll help pollinate the world's plants and will give you delicious honey in return. It's a win-win-win-win.
Learn more about National Honey Bee Appreciation Day and how you can get involved in keeping the world buzzing, including where local events are around you.