It takes more than soil, water, and sunshine to make the world green.
At least 30% of the world’s crops and 90% of all plants require cross-pollination to grow, thrive, spread and protect from crop failures. How do plants get pollinated?
Wild bee species are responsible for every one in three bites of food at the dinner table - even more so if you mostly follow a plant-based diet.
Unfortunately, wild bee populations in Canada here and around the world are in decline. Unpredictable and volatile weather patterns like our Heat Dome summer and record snowfall winters have wreaked havoc on bee populations. Our little furry, portly friends are having a tough time keeping up, mostly because of the following 3 reasons:
1. Habitat loss
Territories in North America as well as in Europe, where wild, native bees once thrived, have shrunk by 30% because it’s either too hot, too wet or too cold for them to live. This habitat loss is a vicious cycle - fewer bees result in fewer plans which result in more extreme ground heat absorption from the sun, or more extreme flooding when it rains.
2. Shifting temperatures
For thousands of years, bees have followed a natural cycle active and inactive periods, usually aligned with the growing season. As average monthly temperatures rise, flowers bloom earlier in the spring, creating a potential mismatch in seasonal timing between when flowers produce pollen and when bees are ready to feed on that pollen. Even a small mismatch could negatively affect this natural cycle causing stress, anxiety and a general loss of cognitive abilities. This results in bees feeling less likely to reproduce, and less resistant to predators and parasites.
3. Diseases and environmental stress.
Honeybees are susceptible to parasites, and environmental stresses may increase infections. It has been demonstrated (resource) that various environmental stresses, including both abiotic and biotic stresses, functioning singly or synergistically, are the potential drivers of colony collapse. Honeybees can use many defense mechanisms to decrease the damage from environmental stress to some extent.
What can you do to help
1. Plant a Bee Garden
Bees are generally friendly and social animals - not like wasps, who are aggressive and often get mistaken for bees.
In any event, planing a bee-friendly garden is one of the best ways to promote and sustain bee populations. In fact, one of the largest threats to bees is a lack of safe habitat where they can build homes and find a variety of nutritious food sources. By planting a bee garden, you can create a habitat with plants that are rich in pollen and nectar. You don’t need a ton of space to grow bee-friendly plants — gardens can be established across yards and in window boxes, flowerpots, and planters. You can also get involved with local organizations and governments to find opportunities to enrich public and shared spaces.
Pro tip: If you’re still scared of getting stung, you can always seed your bee garden with Mason Bees - they don’t produce honey, but they also don’t sting!
2. Go Chemical-Free for Bees
Synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, and neonicotinoids are harmful to bees, wreaking havoc on their sensitive nervous and biological systems. Avoid treating your garden and green spaces with synthetics.
Instead, use organic products and natural solutions such as compost to aid soil health and adding beneficial insects that keep pests away like ladybugs and praying mantises.
3. Create a Bee Bath
Bees work up quite a thirst foraging and collecting nectar. Fill a shallow bird bath or bowl with clean water, and arrange pebbles and stones inside so that they break the water’s surface. Bees will land on the stones and pebbles to take a long, refreshing drink.
4. Buy Sustainably Sourced Honey - Elias Honey
Elias Honey is sustainably sourced all the way from berry farms throughout B.C. to vast clover and wildflower fields across the Prairies. We pride ourselves on our over 40 years of relationships with family owned beekeepers who care. This is why we’re able to bring you consistently high-quality, premium honeys year after year… after year!
What is Elias Honey Doing To Help
We want to leave the world a better place than how we found it, so our kids (and their kids… and their kids) will be able to enjoy the open skies, clean air and incredible taste of honey. Here are the measures we have implemented over the last 2 years in order to fight the climate crisis and help our bee friends:
Reduce by Reusing
We reuse packaging and a good box is a good box. When a customer places a large order, we ship it to them in the original box from our production facility, or we re-pack it in a box that has been emptied. It’s a small step, but we have saved TONS of cardboard by doing this! So if you place a large order, don’t be surprised if the products in the box don’t match the products on the box - although, your order will be 100% correct!
We want to make sure that your products don’t break en route. To do so we use environmentally friendly peanuts, made from a starch-based sustainable process. To get rid of them, you can place them in your compost bin, or let them disintegrate in sink water without any harmful residues.
Ideas to re-use our glass jars
Our glass jars are beautifully presented and designed to be re-used.
Some ideas to how to repurpose the Elias Honey glass jars are:
- Flower pots
- Jars for homemade candles
- Decorative pieces in the kitchen
If you want to follow a more conventional road you can always re-use them to store other food items in your fridge like sauces, homemade jams, homemade pickled onions, cucumbers or carrots; or in your pantry like spices, grains, or any dry items you can think of!
Here are a few of our favorite ideas: http://www.ashleycribb.com/blog/beeswax-jar-candles, https://greencitylivingco.ca/blogs/all-blog-posts/12-incredible-ways-to-reuse-glass-jars-empty-candle-jars.
Head over to @eliashoney_ for recipes and other sweet inspirations, or if you’re ready to place an order with us, click here to go to our online store.