Much of the delicious food we enjoy grows thanks to bees and other pollinators
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“I think part of the reason why everyone is so fascinated by it is that the relationship we have with honey bees is very long. It’s almost in our DNA. There are many different types of bees that are very important, but honey bees because of their social aspect – there is a lot of fascination around them.”
So, what is this social aspect of honey bees? They form colonies, they have a queen, many workers and a smaller percentage of drones (the males that mate with the queen).
“Bees also have personalities. Some are docile, others aggressive,” explained Power.
This sounds like a whole bee soap. Maybe nature can call it, The Bold and the Bee-utiful?
Honeybees in winter
Honey bees live throughout the four seasons. The bees in the hive in Battery Park City in Rockefeller Park are quite docile. Very chill, explained Power. In winter they stay in their hive and can maintain a constant temperature. Pretty cool.
And back to food talk again, the Battery Park bees’ honey has just been harvested, Power said, adding that it’s very kind of them to share this delicious substance with people.
What you can do to help bees
Climate change is impacting bee populations worldwide, scientists say as unprecedented flooding, high temperatures and wildfires increase worldwide. But dr. Asli Samanci, food scientist, bee expert and founder of Bee&You, there are ways to meet these challenges.
“Our lifestyles and approaches to conserve energy and water resources would contribute to efforts to control the adverse effects of climate change on Earth and consequently the bee population,” Samanci said. “However, there are still simple actions we can take to save the bee population. For example, we can plant bee-friendly flowers in our garden.”
All these actions can help. As Samanci said, “If there’s a bee, there’s life.”
Power agrees that there are many things homeowners can do to help this important animal. What bees, pollinators and all living things need is a living environment – a home. For bees, this includes having places to eat and suitable plants to pollinate. Power even suggested talking to neighbors about how to save bees.
“Maybe you make a promise with your neighbors to avoid chemical pest control,” Power said. Pesticides can cause all sorts of problems. They can disorient bees and cause stress.”
You can also help bees by providing a continuous source of nectar and pollen by planting things that bloom from early spring through fall. Another tip is to ask your nursery or garden center if the plants you buy have been grown without chemicals.
“We can maintain our garden without chemical pesticides and prefer organic solutions for our flowers and trees,” Samanci added.
Bee Species in NYC
Now that we know the importance of honeybees, here are some other bees that you may not know are native to NYC, specifically Battery Park City:
Want to know more about bees and other pollinators? You can catch the buzz at pollinatornativeplants.com.
Main image: Battery Park City Authority