As a Nursing Mom, I spend much of my breastfeeding time watching Hulu and Amazon documentaries. Lately, I’m hooked on Organic Gardening and Bee Episodes. While the health of Mother Earth isn’t making news Headlines the way Bruce Jenner’s gender transformation is, it should be. We’re in serious environmental trouble. While we do our best to ‘stay green’ with cloth diapers and organic produce, I would love to do more. I’ve been educating myself online, watching educational programs and reading everything I can get my hands on. I’ll give you a little synopsis of what I’m learning.
Bees act as a monitor for our environmental health much as the way canaries did for coal miners. When the bird died, miners knew conditions were unsafe and they fled the mines for (hopefully) breathable air. Unfortunately, there is no where for the inhabitants of Earth to flee to! Bees are dying in droves. Scientists can’t explain a phenomenon known as Colony Collapse, an event where entire bee hives vanish. While chemicals used in and on Genetically Modified Crops are suspected, this hasn’t stopped farmers from using them. It certainly hasn’t stopped companies from selling them. As a result of this bee decline, the pollinators are being shipped cross country to Almond orchards, Berry farms and fields to produce fruitful crops. Bee farmers drive hives of bees as far as from Florida to California because these states and their farms lack the bees necessary to pollinate crops. Many of these hives die annually and have to be replaced. In nature, these colonies would survive years on their own. Scary, right?
Factors that are certainly not helping are Monocropping, an act where a farmer grows just one crop over large areas of land, and continued use of pesticides. How do we combat this? Many Earth Friendly families are turning to local growers, local organic honey farms, backyard bee farming and homesteading to ensure that the food we eat is free from chemicals…and doesn’t need to travel 2,000 miles to our dinner plates.
Why local organic? Many commercially Organically Grown crops so are located next to non-organically grown crops, and the drift of chemicals and Genetically Modified seeds is inevitable. Back yard gardens are the way to go! Homesteading, supporting your neighborhood farmer and the overall welcoming of healthy and happy bees is spreading (woohoo)! If you aren’t growing your own tomatoes, enjoying the clover in your lawn or getting your eggs from someone just a few miles away…it’s safe to say that you’re behind on the times.
Other ways to help include planting bee friendly plants, avoiding the use of chemicals on your home gardens and lawn, and supporting local organic farms. I’ve been researching bee-friendly flowers for our state and while Hostas aren’t listed on any of the “Bee Friendly Plant” lists I can find, I have noticed that year after year ours are buzzing with happy bees. After a very buzz-free Spring and beginning of Summer…I feared that we wouldn’t have any bees this year. It wasn’t until a few days ago that I noticed some buzzing in our yard! I am proud to say that I have never been so happy to see a bee!!