What’s that buzz? May 20 is World Bee Day so we thought we’d take this opportunity to shed some light on all the wonderful things bees do for us and our ecosystem.

Why? A few years ago, our town committed to helping restore the declining bee population by building a bee apiary just south of Town Hall. While our resident bees do produce some honey, the purpose of our urban apiary is to provide a safe haven where they can live, work, and thrive. From pollinating crops to producing honey, bees certainly make an impact on our local community.

Bees pollinate about 90 percent of the world’s flowering plants and about 30 percent of all the food we eat. To put it in perspective, that’s every third spoonful of food. In addition to making our food healthier, pollination also improves plants’ resiliency against pests and disease.

Bees also help support biodiversity and signal when environmental changes are happening. If you see bees buzzing along, that means they’re in a well-functioning ecosystem, while their absence indicates bad weather is on the horizon. To celebrate World Bee Day and the many ways bees help “sweeten” our lives, please BEE friendly to these important pollinators.

Inspired to help protect the bees? Here are four things you can do to protect bees:

  • Use natural alternatives to pesticides and herbicides, especially neonicotinoids, as they have deadly effects on bees. Click here for a list of natural alternatives.
  • Reach for sustainable or organic honey products instead of cheaper, low-quality honey products.
  • Build a bee sanctuary in your backyard! Click here to visit The Urban Beekeepers’ website, the group that built the Town’s bee apiary.
  • If you encounter a bee, don’t swat at it. Instead, keep your hands down to your side and quickly walk away.