By Christyn Allen
ERIE, Pa. (Erie News Now) – Earth Day is on Friday. It’s an opportunity for a long, hard look at the dangers of climate change and many of the other issues affecting our environment.
One of the issues is something very small but can have a big impact on the environment. We’re talking about bees. Believe it or not, the world we live in depends on these little insects.
Twenty thousand species of bees around the globe allow our food and plants to grow through pollination, and ultimately play a big part in our environment’s oxygen supply.
“A lot of the food we eat relies on honey bees and other pollinators,” Director of Education and Community Programs at Asbury Woods, Sarah Bennett told Erie News Now.
Did you know most of the bees we depend on are in trouble? Especially honey bees, like the ones on display at Asbury Woods. “This is our live honey bee exhibit. These honey bees can get to the outside but right now it’s cold, so they’re stuck in here,” said Bennett.
The USDA’s latest honey bee report is quite the buzzkill, with United States honey production down 14% from 2020.
While this doesn’t seem like a huge deal, it’s an indicator bees are dying at a faster rate than they have in years passed. “They’re losing habitat because we are tearing up natural habitats to build housing developments and other buildings, to put in more roads and build parking lots,” said Bennett.
So, how can we conserve the bee population? Asbury Woods says the best way you can help bees in our area is to plant native flowers in your own yard, and don’t use pesticides in your gardens.
“It’s incredibly important for us to protect pollinators, so create that habitat in your yards. Don’t use pesticides, let those native wildflowers like dandelions. Those are just small things we can all do to protect pollinators that are so important to us, but also important to our wildlife,” said Bennett.
If you want to learn more about bees and how to help them, you can visit Asbury Woods. They’re open daily from 10am-5pm.