Honey Bee Earrings and How They Survive the Winter
So many people wonder if I raise bees when they hear the name of my business. I don't, but I care very much about the plight of the honey bee. (For those that don't know the origin of my business name, you can about it on my about page.)
As we head into winter I was wondering how the honey bees survive when everything is in shades of grey, brown, and white. Here in California we have a very short winter so there's not much winter die off due to cold. However we can help them by planting plants that either continue to flower throughout the winter or flower at that time. I've got lavender, Mexican sage, freeway daisies, and rosemary that bloom consistently in my drought-tolerant garden. A bonus are the hummingbirds that dart through year round.
Like monarch butterflies that have different life cycles depending on when they're born, honey bees that are born in the winter can live 4-6 months, while summer honey bees usually only live about 45 days! To survive though they need food.
In colder climates, Beekeepers know to leave honey in the hive or feed a hive raw honey in the winter months. After all, it's why the honey bees make honey - for their own food supply! Bees can't survive or fly in below 55 degrees so they hunker down in their hives.
What can you do as a non-beekeeper? You can help by planting flowering plants as soon as possible in the spring (start them indoors), as I mentioned above so that if the weather does get warm they can find food. When dandelions come up in early spring, don't pull or spray! It's usually the honey bees first taste of pollen in the new year.
The best thing you can do is not use fungicides or herbicides as they are both toxic to honey bees. These sprays do not discriminate between good and bad bugs.
"Life is full of beauty.
Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces.
Smell the rain, and feel the wind.
Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams."