“Mom, did you know bees are disappearing around the world?”
My kids were made aware of this fact after we visited a local bee keeper and the questions started rolling in. You can say we've become obsessed with finding out more about the missing bees and how we can help. Since starting our research, we've learned a lot! For example, did you know human survival depends on plentiful and healthy bees? Or that one-in-three bites of food we eat is made possible by bees and other pollinators?
The great thing about our ongoing discussions about the bees is that we came up with a plan on how our family could make a change. We decided to start small and plant the wildflower seeds that Cheerios sent to us.
Just by planting a few wildflowers or bee-friendly plants, anyone can help give bees the natural habitat and nutrition they need in order to thrive and survive. Bees feed on the nectar from wildflowers, so if there are no wildflowers, or not enough, bees start to disappear. Since bees and other pollinators are responsible for one in three bites of our food, this means our food choices will drastically drop. Planting wildflowers is a very kid-friendly, family-oriented activity that anyone can do, provided that you have the space.
You don’t need a huge garden to plant wild flowers, but even if you live in a large city and you have a small backyard (or no backyard), you can still help. Many cities offer community gardens that are worth looking into. We don’t have a large backyard, so we got creative. My girls, their friends, and I, approached some neighbours and asked if they were not using a part of their front or back yard if we could plant some wildflowers in the space. We explained to them why and what was happening with the bee population. Happily, many of them were very receptive to what we were doing.
While canvassing for yards to plant wildflower seeds, we found out we even have a bee keeper in our hood! He spoke with us about how easy it is to be an urban bee keeper and he shared many reasons why we need bees and other fun facts that you probably didn’t know. He’s a bit shy, so he didn’t want to come on camera, so the girls and I shared the valuable info he shared with us. Have a look!
Making the bee population stable again is an issue that’s not going to be solved overnight, but every little bit helps. Honey Nut Cheerios has already surpassed their goal to send out 100 million wildflower seeds - they've given away over 400 million seeds so far! If you would like to learn more about how you can contribute to bringing back the bees, including planning tips for your very own wildflower garden, head on over to bringbackthebees.ca.