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!)
Related Posts on Bees
Image: flickr user Tommie and Georgie under a Creative Commons License
[This post was written by Tara Benwell.]
Green Experience says
I’ve been aware of the decline in bees for awhile, and apparently it would cause a lot of harm to the environment if they went away. That doesn’t change the fact that I still get scared when one gets close to me, though.
Yes I think we adults need to do a better job of teaching our children not to be afraid of bees (unless of course they are allergic.)
That crazy song could have something to do with why we start our lives so scared: “I’m squishing up my baby bumble bee, won’t my mother be so proud of me…ouch it stung me.”
Maybe we could change it to: “I’m growing sun-flow-ers for the bees. Won’t Mother Earth be so proud of me. I’m growing sun-flow-ers for the bees. Look they’re as tall as me.”
I’ve been wracking my brain to come up with a great eco-friendly idea for you since last night. Unfortunately, I’ve got nothing very unique. My youngest is going to be a butterfly so we’re taking one of her older sister’s plain headbands and using strips of cardboard from an old box folded accordian-style and stapled on to the headband with recycled pom-poms from an old craft kit at the ends. Not very original, I know but everything else I tried (old wire hangers) was way to uncomfortable for her to wear. I’ve been lucky, though, since we have a LOT of hand-me downs to utilize and re-purpose. One of the benefits of having 4 kiddos I guess! I’m going to use the discarded wire hangers that didn’t work for antennae to make some simple flowers for her to attach to her treat bag though.
Thanks! I was thinking I’d use cardboard for my little butterfly too. Will you sew the pom poms to the cardboard? I tried to make a magic wand out of an old wire hanger the other day with no luck. I love your flower idea. What do you use for the flower part?
I Love this idea! Where’s the flickr photo pool?! I want to see all those cute little bees!