It has almost become comical amongst my new set of friends down under regarding my utter disdain for bees. Almost. It stems from an ingrained myth I was taught as a child. Growing up during a time when "Africanized Bees" plagued the streets of America, we were taught to steer clear and kill for our own protection. We didn't go near them and if one came even remotely close to us, well I think you get the picture. I joke but the joke was on all of us for decades. Now we know that many of these killer bee claims were unfounded but the damage has been done. Bees are on the decline in a majorly significant way. Is the culprit synthetic crops, heinous viruses, anti-bee propaganda or harmful pesticides? Scientists are still speculating but the fact remains that the population of bees in America has dropped more than 50%. What I find most fascinating is that we were never really taught the vast benefits of bees and pollination growing up. It's astounding and I would list them all here but just google "benefits of bees" and you will be blown away. It's almost unbelievable that one of the oldest creatures on Earth gets so little attention until it's almost too late. But is it?
Here are some ways that you can help the bees.
I have become quite accustomed to these winged creatures. They are plentiful in New Zealand and friendly, too. The bumbly kind seen here are known to allow people to pet them. That's right. A bee. Though they are docile and mostly harmless I might refrain from petting them. I did however, move a cold and flightless bumble bee into the sunshine where the children and I watched it warm up and begin to take flight again. Yes the Texas girl who'd kill bees and wasps with the best of them attempted to save one. Mother Nature makes us do the craziest things. They are interesting enough though, and this particular one lured me very close. But, of course, not too close.