August 15th is Honey Bee Awareness Day!
Did you know that Florida is home to more than 300 species of bees that assist in pollination and ecosystem health? Honey bees were brought to America from Europe in the early 1600s and now are beneficial to the growth of crops like blueberries, strawberries, squash, avocado, watermelon, cucumbers, and onions! About three out of every four crops in Florida are reliant on honey bees for pollination! Read on to see how you can help save the bees of Florida!
Currently, Florida has almost 4,000 registered beekeepers with more than 500,000 honey bee colonies! An entire chapter of the Florida Statutes discusses laws governing beekeeping regulation including a registry that all beekeepers with hives must join. Since honey bees are so important to crops, this organization has the power to inspect hives and order them to be quarantined or destroyed if necessary.
Unfortunately, honey bees have many potential risk factors including pressure from monoculture agriculture, risk of pesticide exposure, pests and parasites, forage, nutrition, and management.
What Can You Do To Save Florida’s Bees? #BeeTheSolution
- Plant a garden with bee-friendly plants that are rich in pollen and nectar
- Go chemical-free in your yard products and use natural solutions instead of pesticides
- Plant a tree with blossoms for a great food source and nesting material
- Create a bee bath from a birdbath with stones for resting, so bees can take a drink of water
- Teach your children, the next generation, the importance of honey bees for our ecosystem
- Support local beekeepers by purchasing locally-made honey and beeswax products
If you want to learn more about where you can find the best Florida honey and bee products, check out our list here!
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