Bees are endangered and threatened with extinction
We all know by now that if the bees die out, our crops won’t get pollinated. And then we all die. Albert Einstein said, “If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live”, so it is heartening that the global science community has recently recognised bees as the most important living beings on our planet. So we need to help bees. Thankfully, that’s easy.
So how can you ‘bee a hero’ today? It’s so easy. Just take these three steps, then print the free Help the Bees poster below and spread the word.
Don’t use insecticides, especially neonicotinoids
When poisons are liberally sprayed into the profoundly-complex natural environment, you know there will be trouble. And a pesticide with neonicotinoids is especially toxic to bees. France has recently banned these pesticides. We need every other country to follow France’s lead, even when the chemical giants that make the pesticides try to profit at the expense of nature. So: Don’t use pesticides, especially ones with neonicotinoids. And contact your political representatives and ask them to help bees, by proposing that bee-killing pesticide is banned in your country. If you’re in France, go you!
Buy local honey, and feel the health benefits
Refuse to buy the factory honey ‘from multiple countries’. Instead, buy honey that’s produced more naturally, as close to where you live as possible. This supports local beekeepers and encourages them to keep doing their great work. Eating local honey is not only much more delicious, it contains the pollen that causes your hayfever. So eating local honey helps to desensitise you to local pollen. Try it. Help bees and help yourself.
Help bees by planting flowers, most of our bees are wild!
It’s pretty incredible to think that there are 16,000 species of bees! In Ireland, we have about 100 bee species, and just one of them is the honey bee that we picture at a row of hives with a beekeeper in one of those suits. Bumble bees (19 species!) and countless other solitary bees depend on us for flowers and nectar. So throw some flower bombs. Or get loads of bedding flowers (very cheap in local fairs and most stores), which are easy to plant in pots and will brighten up any kind of home or garden.
And, if you can’t stretch to planting flowers, why not just take it easy with the lawnmower? Does your lawn really need to be ‘a lawn’? This isn’t the 18th century and you don’t need to impress your peers with a display of your ability to spend money/your peasant labourers’ time on something without function. And if the neighbours take offence with your garden wilderness, just tell them you’re working hard to save the bees and, by extension, the human race. That’ll learn them.
Bee sting treatment, what to do
If the sting has been embedded in the skin, remove it as quickly as possible. A cold compress, such as an ice pack, will help reduce itchiness and swelling. Bee stings are acidic, so an alkaline substance such as baking powder (make into a paste with some water) may help, although the bee sting toxin will be deep inside the tissue. Ironically, honey may also be beneficial when applied to the sting area. Antihistamines, either orally-taken tablets, or topically-applied cream, may be helpful.
All bees can sting, but only honey bees will leave their barbed stinger in your skin, which kills them. Male worker bees in the hive, also known as drones, do not have stingers. Queen bees, bumble bees and other wild bees can sting you multiple times, as their stinger isn’t barbed.
Honey bees will only sting if their hive is threatened. They can give off a pheromone that encourages their hive colleagues to attack also. Other kinds of bee will only sting if they feel seriously threatened.
No, all wasps and hornets can sting multiple times, and their sting venom is alkaline, not acidic like bees’. Treatment for wasp stings is cold compress and antihistamine. Application of an acidic substance such as vinegar may help.
Yes, bee stings can cause anaphylactic shock, a life-threatening, severe allergic response. Symptoms may include severe swelling, nausea, dizziness and hives or redness in parts of the body away from the sting site. If an EpiPen is carried, use that. Seek urgent medical attention.
Read our post
Top 5 things you can do TODAY to save the planet.
Read more/photo credits
Wikipedia on bees: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bee
All-Ireland Pollinator Plan: http://pollinators.ie/
Bees on honeycomb by Waugsberg – eigene Aufnahme – own photograph, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1059082
Now do something…
Buy flower seeds from Readathriller today and your purchase will fund a hemp plant. Just click here to view our selection, with free delivery on many items.
Print and display this bee poster, and share on social
This A3-size PDF can be downloaded or printed right away. Just click here for our How to Help Bees PDF. Just check ‘Fit to paper’ on your printer screen and you should be fine! Stick it up wherever people gather or share on your favourite social media. You’re a hero!
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