Helping Bees

The Bee Lab promotes the conservation, health and diversity of ALL bees, native and non-native, wild and managed.  All bees play a keystone role in the productivity of agriculture and the beauty of our world through the pollination of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and flowers. The disruption of natural habitats leading to lack of “bee flowers,” the widespread overuse of pesticides, and numerous bee diseases and parasites have created a health crisis for managed bees and declines in our wild bees. You may be considering keeping your own honey bee colonies to “save the bees”.

There are many compelling reasons to keep honey bees, but we are learning that the health problems facing honey bees actually can be exacerbated by too many beekeepers keeping too many bee colonies.   A high density of bee colonies can lead to competition for few floral resources, and the spread of pests and diseases, particularly if beekeepers do not monitor and treat these problems. The best way to save the bees is to plant flowers and keep those flowers free of pesticide contamination.  

Everyone can help support all bees in five ways:

  1. Plant bee flowers everywhere.
  2. Provide nesting habitat.
  3. Keep bee flowers clean - do no treat bee-friendly flowers with pesticides (insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, etc.).
  4. Collect data.
  5. Support our efforts to keep bees healthy and on their own six feet.