The National Beekeeping Association of NZ have created Bee Awareness month – which kicks off in September 2014. We want to raise the awareness of Bee Health and the importance they play in helping us live a sustainable life, and the role they play in NZ exports and agriculture.
Here’s what can we do to help our precious New Zealand bees survive:
- Grow plants in your garden that attract bees. Bees love plants with ample amounts of pollen and nectar such as borage, lavender, rosemary, calendula and forget-me-not. Remember bees are attracted to these colours: yellow, blue-green, blue and ultraviolet flowers. All the money from these seed sales go back to the National Beekeepers Association to help NZ bees. See at the bottom of this page for more links to growing ideas.
- Don’t mow you lawn too often, leave clover and dandelion in the lawn for a while for bees to forage on (if you can stand it).
- Eat more organic food to encourage producers to limit pesticides on crops.
- If you come across a swarm of bees please don’t call the exterminators but instead call your local beekeeping club. The National Beekeeping Association have some contact numbers on their website. Having said this you do want to destroy wasp nests as they rob beehive honey stores. You can pour petrol on their nests or contact a terminator. Make sure you learn the difference between a wasp nest and natural beehive though!
- Find out more about the honey you are eating and make sure it is from beekeepers who care about their bee’s health and not just about production.
- Spread the word by letting people know this information and support any petitions or change in policy that further protects our bees.
- Garden organically. If you struggle with that idea then look for bee friendly sprays and use them at dusk when the bees are back in their hives. Avoid neonicotinoids with these ingredients: acetamiprid, imidacloprid, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam. Also avoid spraying when plants are in flower.
- Create a shallow pond in your garden where bees can land on the edges to collect water.