How to Bee Real

So, you talk a big game about being down for the environment and how you got our beneficial pollinators backs.  Do you put your money where your mouth is though?  Do you go further than money and put your actual effort into it?

If you’re a beekeeper, then you have the creds.  You are making it happen.  But for everyone who isn’t a beekeeper, what about you?

Now, not everyone who is interested in bee conservation wants to be a beekeeper.  Just like not every beekeeper is solely focused on honey bees.  We have apiarists who manage mason bees, bumblebees, honey bees and more.

A person concerned about the environment and beneficial pollinator bees doesn’t have to be a beekeeper either.  But if not a beekeeper, what can you do to “bee real” in the bee conservation effort?

You can do any, some or all of the things listed below.

Big Bear’s List of Ways to Bee Involved

  1. Become a hobby beekeeper or professional apiarist.
    1. If you already are or are just getting started, YOU ROCK!
  2. Hire an Apiarist to manage an apiary for you.
    1. Just Beecause you don’t manage the bees yourself doesn’t mean you can’t have bees and have your own honey and beeswax to use for home or business purposes.
  3. Provide support to research into keeping bees alive, healthy and thriving.
    1. For ground level research, you can’t go wrong by supporting Randy Oliver at his website.  He does awesome work not only doing the research but by making it accessible directly to hobbyists and apiarists himself.
  4. Provide support to education and training efforts that increase awareness, teach and train people about bees and beekeeping.
    1. Yes, you can sponsor someone to take classes or begin a training program like the Apiarist Apprentice Trade program at BBE-Tech Apiary Services in Omaha, NE.
  5. Offer a location for a hobby beekeeper or professional apiarist to establish an apiary.
    1. If there’s one thing bees and beekeepers need most, it’s quality places to set up and maintain an apiary.
  6. Buy from a local beekeeper.
    1. Whether it’s honey, beeswax items, or any of the hundreds of delicious and awesome things made from honey and other hive products, supporting local beekeepers means supporting local bee conservation.
    2. Check your local Farmers Markets.  Not only are beekeepers there selling their stuff but all kinds of local growers whose crops got help from pollinating bees are too.
  7. Implement an IPM plan in your lawn care and gardening activity.
    1. Integrated Pest Management is perhaps the best way to prevent our beneficial pollinators from being unnecessarily exposed to toxic pesticides.
    2. The Label Is The Law!  Mix and apply ANY pesticides you use exactly as the label describes.  Not more, not different.  You don’t need to dump a gallon of weed killer on a single dandelion.
  8. Bee an advocate for bees and beekeeping in your community.
    1. There are many cities and towns that don’t appreciate, understand or “get” all the benefits to bees and beekeeping locally.  Even if you don’t intend to have your own hives, you CAN bee a proponent for bees and beekeeping at town council meetings, neighborhood associations, city, county and state elections, etc…

So, this list above is a good start.

Whatever you do, DON’T just be someone who talks about environmental and bee conservation issues but doesn’t actually do anything about it.  The world is full of fakes and phonies.  We and the bees need you to Bee Real.

Author: Big Bear

Owner of BBE-Tech Apiary Services and professional apiarist. Beekeeping instructor at Metro Community College. Exec. Producer, Director and Host of Bee Smart beekeeping project podcast and videos.

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