Today is world bee day.
The United Nations says that bees are under threat. Present species extinction rates are 100 to 1,000 times higher than normal due to human impacts. Close to 35 percent of invertebrate pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, and about 17 percent of vertebrate pollinators, such as bats, face extinction globally.
While many of us look at bees and just hope they don't sting us, humans cannot survive without bees. Pollinators like bees and butterflies help pollinate approximately 75 percent of the world's flowering plants according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Additionally, they pollinate roughly 35 percent of the world's food crops—including fruits and vegetables.
There are steps you can take at home to help the bees:
plant a diverse set of native plants, which flower at different times of the year;
buying raw honey from local farmers;
buying products from sustainable agricultural practices;
avoiding pesticides, fungicides or herbicides in our gardens;
protecting wild bee colonies when possible;
sponsoring a hive;
making a bee water fountain by leaving a water bowl outside;
helping sustaining forest ecosystems;
In Canada, there are more than 800 species of native bees. There are more than 25,000 bee species in the world.