The honey bees are dying off around the world, and yet still many people have never heard of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). This week the Italian government banned several pesticides that are thought to be linked to the honey bee decline. More research (funding) is required to find out exactly what is causing the disappearance.
During Honey Week on our sister site, Meridith Melnick wrote:
“One-third of the food we consume comes from pollinators. Bees are responsible for pollinating almonds, apples, soft fruit, and berries among other crops. Without them, we will lose more than honey (a tragedy in its own right!), we will lose a large portion of the biodiversity we now enjoy on our plates.”
I shared my own honey bee concerns with my preschooler a few months back, and I was amazed how quickly and easily she accepted the need to protect this species. Sunflowers have taken off all over our yard, and while I’m no bee expert there are definitely some pollinators in our presence. My children do their own waggle dance whenever they see a flower visitor. (Planting bee friendly flowers is one of the easiest things you can do as a family to support honey bees.)
Since our governments aren’t acting fast enough, perhaps we need to send our children off buzzing with this CCD news. Have you thought of a Halloween costume idea for your youngest tot? If not consider turning your little honey into a bee. You know your friends and family are going to ask what your precious bundle is going to be on his first Halloween. With your baby on board, spreading the word about CCD will be easy. (And people will be less likely to judge you as a greenie in front of little buzz.)
You don’t need to run out and buy your baby a new costume. You don’t even need to be all that creative. Yellow pajamas (or snow suit) and some black tape may be all you need to get your neighbours going goo goo for your little stinger. Parents who like to join in on the dress up fun might consider pairing a yellow shirt with black pants to form a bee colony.
Here’s another idea for young families who rarely make it down a whole street on Halloween night before little ones tire and are ready to buzz home. Instead of accepting candy that your baby won’t eat, offer pouches of sunflower seeds to your neighbours, with a link to the Hagen Daaz website (www.helpthehoneybee.com).
Eco Challenge: Please use the comment section to send your ideas for crafting homemade (earth friendly) bee antennae that don’t fall off. (My own kids are old enough to decide what they want to bee for Halloween. The Hungry Caterpillar and Monarch Butterfly are going to need antennae too!)
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[This post was written by Tara Benwell.]