Nine kind acts to help the bees

There are so many things that each of us can do to help our planet and make a difference. Imagine that if each of us did two things differently and asked two friends to also follow our footsteps and so on — what an enormous difference we would all make.

It all starts with good intentions and then just a couple good acts. Lending a helping hand has never been easier.

Here are nine suggestions for helping our wonderful friends – the bees:

1. Grow or buy organic foods.

2. Buy organic cotton.

3. Support your local beekeepers by purchasing their honey, wax and propolis at the Malibu Farmer’s Market.

4. Do not use herbicides, insecticides, miticides or fungicides in your yard.

5. Plant a wide variety of native flowers (http://www.malibucity.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/detail/navid/508/cid/9314/) especially yellow and blues in solid blocks preferably 3 X 3 feet so the bees can see them.

6. Bees need water, too, so place a bowl with water in your yard and replenish it daily.

7. Consider becoming a citizen scientist and helping the National Phenology Network www.usanpn.org

8. Build a pollinator garden, visit www.pollinator.org

9. Support the increase in grazing cows by purchasing free-range beef. Grazing cows do not require (much, if any) Tylosin or other antibiotics, and vacant fields are crucial habitat for bumble and solitary bees.

Make these 9 suggestions a family project. Your children will embrace these fundamental principles of conservation and it will most certainly help to protect the incomparable honey-, bumble- and solitary-bees.

As the holiday season approaches, please consider buying local beekeepers honey and giving it as a scrumptious, healthy gift to your loved ones.

Malibu resident Dr. Reese Halter is a California Lutheran University professor and conservation biologist, and author of the book “The Incomparable Honeybee.” More of his work can be found at http://drreese.wordpress.com/

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