Today – Saturday, August 17th, 2019 is National Honeybee Day! It’s a special day to celebrate beekeepers, beekeeping clubs, and all honey bee lovers. It’s also an awareness day, for people to recognize how much of an impact honey bees have on our every day lives.
National Honeybee Day (also called World Honeybee Day) started in 2009. A small group of beekeepers petitioned the United States Department of Agriculture to declare a formal proclamation honoring bees and beekeeping. The first National Honeybee Day was on August 22nd, 2009. Today, National Honeybee Day is celebrated annually on the third Saturday in August.
Why Do We Celebrate National Honeybee Day?
The goal of National Honeybee day is to bring together beekeepers and bee enthusiasts in order to connect and work together to advance apiculture and bee preservation. See if there are any National Honeybee Day events in your area! Some events you may find are honey tasting, apiary tours, environmental center programs, and educational booths.
How to Help Honeybees
In honor of National Honeybee Day, here are 5 ways you can help honeybees.
- Plant a pollinator garden. You do not need a large area to plant a pollinator garden. Any small area will do, and for simplicity, you can even do a container garden. You want your pollinator garden to contain a mixture of flowers that local bee species love. Try planting coneflowers, asters, black eyed susans, daisies, and goldenrod.
- Make a Bee Bath. In addition to pollen and nectar, bees need an accessible source of water. You can help honeybees by providing them with a bee bath. All you need to do is fill a shallow dish with water. Add some twigs and rocks for the bees to rest on. Place your bee bath outside for the bees to enjoy.
- Say no to pesticides. Bee populations are declining at an alarming rate. A big reason for that is the use of harmful pesticides. While pesticides are meant to kill crop eating insects, they also kill bees. To help bees, do not use pesticides in your garden, or do not purchase produce treated with pesticides.
- Support your local beekeepers. A great way to support your local beekeepers is by buying their freshly made honey. Not only does it taste way better than store bought, you are supporting an apiarist who in turn, supports bee populations.
- Leave swarms alone. A person’s first instinct when the see a bee swarm is probably fear, especially if they haven’t been around a large amount of bees before. But what ever you do, do not call an exterminator. The swarm is not there to hurt you. They are simply waiting for their scout bees to find a new home. If you must have the swarm removed, contact your local beekeepers association instead. They will be able to safely relocate the bees.