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Be Aware of the Bee

            Every year the third Saturday in August National Honey Bee Day is celebrated. Are you wondering how you can recognize the honey bee this year on August 17? You certainly can’t buy a honey bee a treat like you would for a domestic pet. You also can’t adopt (financially contribute to its care) a bee for a year like you can a wild animal in a wildlife habitat.

But, here are some things you might consider doing on National Honey Bee Day: (1) Instead of using sugar, use honey. It’s tasty in tea, baked goods, on pancakes, toast, and even in salad dressing. Honey comes in a variety of flavors, each determined by the plants the bees pollinate. (2) Invite a local beekeeper to be the brown-bag lunch speaker at your workplace. (3) Invite a beekeeper to talk with school students about the value of becoming a beekeeper and the current environmental concerns the honey bee is facing today. (4) Show your support to your local beekeepers and purchase some locally grown honey. (5) Give locally grown honey as a gift to a special friend, neighbor, co-worker or family member. (6) Spread some local wildflower seeds to promote pollination.

            The honey bee is a tiny insect that can deliver a powerful sting if you swat at it or damage its hive. If you move slowly around bees and don’t disturb them, they will continue with their daily activities, oblivious to your presence. It is best not to provoke them because many people are allergic to bee stings and, if stung, getting to the closest emergency room is essential.

Honey bees might be small, but they provide a huge contribution to our food supply. Without them we would not have the variety of healthy fruits and vegetables we love to eat. We are dependent on bees to pollinate everything from A to Z (alfalfa which is used to feed dairy cows, almonds, strawberries, etc.) Only one statistic is needed to confirm how dependent we are on the honey bee; this one insect is responsible for more than one-third of the food we eat!

Just as we enjoy the beautiful colors and scents of various flowers, so does the honey bee. Sweet scents draw bees and they busily move from plant to plant spreading pollen. So, by planting flowers in containers and in the ground, we can do our part to keep the pollination cycle going. The honey bee needs the nectar from the plants for their survival. Without the honey bees pollinating abilities, many nutritious plants wouldn’t reproduce.

On August 17, 2019, remember it’s National Honey Bee Day. It began in 2009 with a proclamation issued by Thomas J. Vilsek, the Secretary of Agriculture at the time. He proclaimed it as an official day to remember beekeepers, beekeeping clubs and organizations and to remember the value the honey bee makes to our life cycle.

May we all do our part to make others aware of the bee!

https://www.awarenessdays.com/awareness-days-calendar/national-honey-bee-day-2019/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Honey_Bee_Day

https://nationaldaycalendar.com/world-honey-bee-day-third-saturday-in-august/

https://environmentamerica.org/programs/ame/no-bees-no-food