We are excited to be celebrating National Honey Bee Awareness Day this month. Held this year on August 18th, the event began in 2009 by a group of beekeepers who petitioned for a formal proclamation by the United States Department of Agriculture to honor honey bees and beekeeping.
This special day brings together beekeepers, bee associations, and other interested groups to build community awareness of the bee industry through education and promotion. It is an opportunity to celebrate honey bees and recognize their importance to our everyday lives and the global environment. National Honey Bee Awareness Day continues to be recognized each year on the third Saturday of August.
Importance Of Bees
Bees may sometimes seem like a nuisance, but they are actually a cornerstone of our natural environment because of their ability to pollinate. They travel from one plant to another carrying pollen on their bodies to transfer genetic material necessary for most flowering plants to reproduce. Without flower pollination by bees, our agricultural system, food supply, and landscapes would disappear.
Here are some amazing honey bee facts:
- The honey bee is the only insect that produces food eaten by humans.
- Honey is the only food that does not spoil.
- Responsible for more than one-third of the food we eat.
- Pollinate 80 percent of the world’s plants including 90 different food crops.
- Help produce $15 billion in U.S. agricultural crops each year and $217 billion globally.
- There are more than 20,000 bee species around the world.
- Support healthy ecosystems that clean the air, stabilize soils, protect from severe weather, and support other wildlife.
Bees Are In Trouble
Sadly, bees around the world are struggling for their survival as a result of threats from agricultural expansion, loss of habitat, disease, pollution, and climate change. In fact, more than 40 percent of native bees are facing extinction. That’s hundreds of different types of bee species! Also, over the last three years more than one in three honeybee colonies has died in the United States.
Without bees pollinating throughout our ecosystem, many wild plants and crops would be unable to thrive. Although bees are the world’s main pollinators and we all depend on them for survival, they continue to be largely ignored and under-protected.
What You Can Do To Save The Bees
Cat & Dogma is more than just a clothing line—we are working hard to protect our environment for future generations. Now that you know that bees are in trouble, what can you do to help? Check out our suggested actions below:
- Support organizations that are working hard to research and solve the bee crisis. Consider sending a donation to any of these organizations: Honey Love, Pollinator Partnership, Honeybee Conservancy, Planet Bee Foundation, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Green Peace.
- Plant an organic garden that does not use pesticides. Grow lots of pollinator-friendly native plants. Check out these plant ideas from Honey Love.
- Provide a water source in your yard since honey bees need clean water to drink.
- Support farmers and beekeepers by buying local honey and locally grown organic foods.
- Rescue bees instead of exterminating them. If you see an active beehive, call a live-bee removal and re-homing service in your area. Honey bees can be safely removed and taken to beekeepers or community bee yards.
- Teach your children about bees. Read books about bees and pollination such as The Beemanby Laurie Krebs, The Buzz on Bees: Why Are They Disappearing? by Shelley Rotner, and UnBEElieveables by Douglas Florian. Also, be sure to watch Bee Movie, which shows what happens when we no longer have bees pollinating vegetation.
- Spread the word about the importance of pollinators to your family and friends. One easy way to do this is to dress your children in the softest, most adorable organic Bee Collection from Cat & Dogma. What a conversation starter! Not only is the design bright and cheery, but you will be choosing clothes for your baby that were made without the use of harmful pesticides—which are hurting the bees. This collection comes in a jumper, footie, bodysuit, gown, pants, and snuggly receiving blanket.
Let’s keep the buzz about bees going all year long!