Enjoy World Honey Bee Day With a DIY Honey Bee Hotel for Your Garden
7 minute read
You may think of bees as pests or you may even be scared of them. The truth is that unless you have an allergy to bee stings, they are actually special and important insects to have around. With World Honey Bee Day on August 17th of 2019, it's no wonder people the world over love bees.
Honey bees offer advantages to gardens as well as the nutritional world by way of honey and bee pollen. In fact did you know that hospitals use honey for its antimicrobial properties?
It is time to show the bees in your neighborhood some appreciation. The best way to do that is by creating a bee hotel, so they have a functional, welcoming place to start improving the look and ecosystem of your garden.
Give the Bees a Home
Having a pollinator sanctuary in your yard not only gives you something pretty to look at it, but it helps support local ecology and life. While not becoming a full-on apiarist, or beekeeper, you can still do your part without having to buy a protective outfit.
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The number of honey bees is rapidly declining, and this is unfortunate for our food sources. A large portion of the food we consume comes from plants that were pollinated by bees.
Without these helpful pollinators, a delicately balanced ecosystem could begin to fall apart. The cycle of life requires everything to rely on something else, and without bees we could be in big trouble.
All you need to make a pollinator garden is some potted flowers. The more space you have, the more diverse your selection of flowers can be.
Bees will have their favorites when it comes to flowers, so variety is the best way to keep everybody happy. Supporting generations of bees means you need to provide flowering plants with leaves.
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Adult bees use flower nectar for food, and the larvae will use the leaves. Also, your bees will need water which you can provide in the form of small pools or trays.
The garden will ensure that your bees have food and water, leaving one final element: shelter.
Making Your Bee Hotel Is Easy
Bees do not need much when it comes to shelter. Small piles of twigs or even an overturned pot with a hole will work just fine.
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Since some bees are not social, it is a good idea to build a bee hotel with different “rooms.” Drill small holes into a number of blocks of wood, making sure to remove all sawdust and splinters.
Bees are cold-blooded, so you want to have the hotel facing the sun in the morning. You also want it to be clearly visible, so your bees can see it. Be to avoid using varnish or other wood treatments, as the smell will keep bees away.
Finally, the hotel needs to be firmly attached to a pole or wall so as not to swing in the wind. Bees need to feel safe, and a swaying house will not provide any comfort to them. Get the full, step-by-step bee hotel instructions.
The Benefits of Your Bee Hotel
The one substance most commonly associated with bees is honey. If you were so inclined to expand your beekeeping adventures, creating a hive and making honey is a viable option. Did you know there are even big city beekeeping clubs you can join?
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More than just a sweet treat, honey can be a healthy addition to your diet. Given that honey is technically regurgitated nectar, it may not sound appetizing. However, it is a more natural alternative to refined sugar.
Antioxidant power: Honey contains powerful antioxidants like flavonoids and organic acids. These compounds help to scavenge free radicals from the body that cause cell and tissue damage.
Given that free radicals and oxidative damage are associated with increased risk of heart disease and cancer, having honey in your backyard is like a natural medicine dispensary.
Improves cholesterol: High LDL (bad) cholesterol increases your risk for atherosclerosis and heart disease. Compounds in honey help to lower LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol.
Regulating cholesterol levels not only keeps your weight in check, but it prevents the buildup of fatty deposits which can cause stroke and heart attacks.
Heals wounds: Using honey for topical applications has been done for centuries in Egypt. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of honey make it a beneficial and natural treatment for burns and wounds. It can even be used to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis.
The compounds both speed up the healing process while providing nourishment to the nearby skin.
Bee Pollen: The Superfood You Don’t Know About
Honey is not the only benefit bees can provide you. Not many people realize what a health gem bee pollen is. Once you realize how beneficial pollen can be to your health and well-being, you’ll be glad that bee hotel is in your garden.
Anti-inflammatory agents: Bee pollen has been shown to possess strong anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is linked to several serious diseases such as heart disease, asthma, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.
Bee pollen can keep inflammation under control and your health in good condition.
Immune system boost: Studies have shown that bee pollen can boost your immunity by way of its antibacterial and antimutagenic properties. These strengths give your body a better chance of fighting off invading pathogens and bacteria, keeping you healthier in the long term.
Promote liver health: Bee pollen from specific plants can help to support the health of your liver. Liver health is essential for the efficient detoxification of your body, to protect you from toxins and harmful compounds.
Supporting your liver with bee pollen supplements helps promote overall health.
The Bottom Line
Honey bees are not the same as bumblebees and wasps. They are not aggressive, and stings are rare unless disturbed. Finding a way to peacefully co-exist with honeybees can bring beauty to your yard with this gardening advice and health to your body.
Between bee pollen and honey, you can experience improved health and well-being. The honeybees get a safe home with all the food, water, and shelter they need, so it really is a win-win situation. Having honey bees around proves that good things really do come in small packages.