Let's Start the Conversation
why are bees so important, what threats are they facing, and what can we do to help?
During Bee's Knees Week, Barr Hill will be planting 10 square feet of bee habitat for every photo of a Bee's Knees cocktail or bottle of Barr Hill you share on social media. Bars and restaurants across the country will be serving the Barr Hill Bee's Knees cocktail, and you can also make one at home! You can help by visiting participating Bee's Knees Week venues September 23rd - October 2nd and enjoying a Bee's Knees to help save the bees!
Why Are Bees So Important?
Almost 90% of all flowering plants and approximately 30% of our food crops depend on animal pollinators. Honeybees alone pollinate more than 90 different kinds of food crops we rely on. In the United States, honeybee pollination produces over $20 billion worth of products annually.
The bee's role as a pollinator affects our entire ecosystem and the delicate balance of life on this planet - well beyond just the effect on our food crops.
What Threats are Bees Facing?
Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), the use of harmful pesticides, varroa mites and other pests, and mono-cropping trends in our agricultural industry, among other factors, have a huge impact on the honeybee population. According to Bee Informed, over 40% of honeybee colonies in the US were lost in 2019-20. A fear of bees and bee stings also drives people to kill them and destroy their habitat.
You may have heard of Colony Collapse Disorder - what is it? CCD is the sudden mass disappearance of the majority of worker bees in a colony. While the causes are still debated, many possible causes or contributory factors have been proposed, such as diseases, pathogens, pesticides, and changes in habitat. CCD was first reported in the US in 2006 - shocking beekeepers nationwide and initiating intense research into the interconnected roots of the problem.
What Can We Do to Help?
- Support your local beeekeeper! Buy real local raw honey and organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible!
- Be conscious while gardening or tending to your lawn. Refrain from using neonicotinoids or other harmful pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides. Plant native pollinator friendly plants and reduce the amount of open grass space. Don’t weed out everything! Check out the US Fish & Wildlife’s guide to planting for pollinators.
- Work in your community to encourage the conservation of wild pollinator habitats.
- Consider keeping bees. There are many easy to care for hives and organizations to help you get started.
- Drink a Bee’s Knees cocktail at participating bars and restaurants, or buy a bottle of Barr Hill and make one at home during Bee’s Knees Week 2022!
1. Bee Informed Partnership National Management Survey
2. US Fish & Wildlife Guide to Planting for Pollinators
3. USDA Honey Bee Colonies Report from August 2020
4. Your local beekeepers association - most states have one.