When I was seven years old, I inadvertently stepped on a bee with my bare feet. The pain of that first sting stuck with me - to this day, I never quite feel comfortable without some sort of covering between me and the grass. Still, I love bees.
Bees are not only essential pollinators when it comes to the world’s food crops and wild flowering plant species, but they’re also critical to conserving biodiversity. Today, May 20th, we celebrate World Bee Day to help raise awareness about the importance of these pollinators, the threats facing them, and to find ways to help to ensure that they thrive.
As Danielle and I have spent the past two months inside, we’ve noticed a spike in the number of bees in our backyard. It turns out that the lockdown has had a positive effect on bee populations. Fewer cars on the road are creating a less polluted environment, fewer pesticides are being used on lawns and in public spaces, and (as is the case in our yard) natural vegetation that might have otherwise been cut back and manicured is making for much friendlier bee habitats.
One of the reasons that bees don’t tend to thrive in household yards is that people tend to favor manicured lawns and gardens that leave few places for bees to live and eat. If you want to help the bees, one of the simplest things you can do is to plant a bee-friendly garden and ease up on your maintenance of it. Your neighbors will forgive you, and you can feel good knowing that you’re part of the solution.
In honor of World Bee Day, we will donate $25 from any bee-related piece of jewelry sold on our website to Hives for Humanity until the end of May.
Hives for Humanity is a non-profit society that works to engage socially and economically vulnerable populations facing barriers to stability, primarily in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. They develop access to nature in the heart of the city by creating opportunities for connection to supportive community, through nature, bees, and the culture of the hive.