A Plea for Bees.

“Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”

Winnie the Pooh

Okay, so I’m really worried. Australia’s native bees are in trouble. Honey bees are in trouble too. As in, Trouble. Their colonies are dropping like flies. Sorry, I couldn’t help it.

Apart from my Pooh Bear love of eating real, raw honey, I don’t want to live in a world without the little honey bee. I just don’t. I love spring blossom, mad first love, and this beautiful blue earth—just the way it is. We’ve tampered with it enough.

The birds and the bees, anyone?

It’s always a wrench to hear of harm to the earth. Sometimes it feels so hopeless knowing the destruction that humans are wreaking on this planet. Animals extinct. Rainforests gone. The free, clean air corrupted. Clean water turned toxic. And little me, too small to right such massive problems.

Problems at Our Doorstep.

The news that bees are in decline, and their survival is in danger, hits close to home. For one thing, bees are close to home. Even if the Pyrenean ibex weren’t extinct, it wouldn’t be in my backyard. Bees are. They always have been.

That’s why this bee thing frightens me. If the environment has gotten so bad that even the survival of the little honey bee is under threat, then we really are in trouble. Like, right outside of our windows, in trouble. Our pantry empty, in trouble. This is not a hole in an ozone that this mama can’t see. This is:

  • no bees
  • no pollination
  • no blossom
  • no crops
  • lots of yummy stuff lost
  • a huge human population, with not enough to eat
  • my children growing up hungry, without the birds and bees

I like to stay positive, so I’ll let you look up the sad stuff about bees for yourself, if you wish. There is information here and awesome information here.

Do you feel overwhelmed by all this environment stuff?

I do, especially as a school free mama. There’s a responsibility to lead by example versus an overwhelm if I try to do it all.

If I tell my children it’s important to save the bees then do nothing about it, they learn that it’s not important. Yet I’m with my children 24/7, doing my best in our style of home education. I have work from home commitments, and I also need to fit in things like crusading for bees? Come ON.

My Bee Mistake (the guilt!)

The spur behind this post is that I’m pretty sure I made a bee mistake lately. We are about to sell our suburban brickie to go off grid. Late on a Sunday afternoon, we found a colony of bees trying to set up home in the grates below our lounge room window. Yes, IN the walls of the house.

We moved them on. Not with chemicals or sprays. We sprayed the water hose gently until they collectively flew away. Hopefully to a new, suitable home. My children are worried about the bees. They keep asking me this: “Where did they go?”

“Umm, I don’t know.” 

“Shouldn’t we have made sure they found a safe home?”

“Yes. Absolutely. We should have.”

Oops. We should have lured the bees to a home in our yard, instead of our wall. Or called our council, or the folk at bee the cure to find out how to keep the bees safe whilst uninviting them from our house. We didn’t. My bad.

So, I’ve been thinking about alternative measures I might have taken, and traipsing the local neighbourhood for ideas about saving bees. 

5 Simple Ways to Help Save Bees.

  1. Be aware: buy real honey: real, raw honey from the bee keeper—straight from the hive, not from the supermarkets. You can find a honey map here. It gives suppliers of local honey in many parts of the world. 
  2. Move bees on without destroying them. Without spraying pesticides.
  3. Make bees a home, like this home for native bees, in our local area. 
  4. In Australia, many of our native bees don’t make honey, but they do pollinate plants, so we’d be lost without them. I’m investigating setting up a similar, smaller scale invitation for native bees in our yard.
  5. Plant flowers for bees.
  6. Support the preservation of wild environments. Get out into natural environments. Let your children fall in love with the natural world. Then they’ll look after the little honey bee too.

Yes, that’s a simplistic list, but it’s a start, and if you make a start then you’re making things better not worse. That’s not nothing, that’s something. That’s one for the bees. And that makes you one rockin’ mama, or papa, right? Yes. It does.

From me and the bees.


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