I Like Bee Butts

...and I cannot lie! Bees and butterflies and moths, oh my! This is a pollinator appreciation post: learn how you can help these amazing arthropods with very small actions.


3/26/20223 min read

I won't lie, I absolutely cannot resist a fuzzy, yellow and black bee butt twerking in the center of a flower in my garden. I most certainly am that crazy lady who talks to them, asks them about their day and reassures them what a great job they're doing and to keep up the hard work! I mean, who doesn't love to hear that they're kicking ass? And if they are coated in a fine dusting of pollen or have on their pollen socks? Well, then I also tell them how adorably talented they are - kicking ass, AND looking good while doing it? Oh, and the worker bees are usually all females...a triple threat!

What's not to like about a bunch of hard-working, good-looking women?!

Now for the really important part: life on Earth cannot survive without pollinators. Yes, you heard me right...read it again, and let it sink in. These tiny, fuzzy, sometimes bumbling, sometimes buzzing or flapping insects hold the weight of the literal world on their tiny pollen-covered shoulders - fighting an uphill battle against pesticides, climate change (drought & warming conditions), air pollution and habitat destruction. The success of our crops, the sustaining of our agriculture, our very existence is hinged on their survival - so why do we hurt them?

Well, I'd like to think that in MOST cases, it's just due to lack of knowledge and awareness. So, let's talk about a couple small things we can do to lessen our negative impact on them, as well as a few more things we can do to actually help them - and then let's spread the word!

  1. Plant Flowers - or really ANYTHING with flowers (like flowering herbs, or flowering vegetables). Sunflowers and Cosmos are big winners for pollinators, but having both annuals and perennials is helpful, as well as considering what is native to your area.

  2. Avoid Insecticides - unfortunately even those labeled "organic" can kill pollinators, as well as other beneficial bug life. Instead, do a little minimal research into encouraging beneficial bugs, bacteria and fungi, then let them do what they do best! For example, many garden centers and farm stores will sell ladybugs in the spring - and ladybugs are the best way to get rid of aphids that I've EVER SEEN. No joke.
    **Even if you don't have a big garden, you can always have a pot of annual flowers on a deck, railing or window box for pollinators.

  3. Water the Bees - not the same way that you water flowers of course, but rather a bowl or saucer full of fresh water, somewhere in your yard or garden, near their pollen sources. Make sure to use marbles, stones, wine corks, or even shells (get creative!) to give bees a place to land when grabbing a drink so they don't drown. I had a ton of fun making something pretty for my yard by painting a mandala on a saucer and adding shells and rocks from my favorite local beach.

  4. Buy Local Honey - but be sure that what you're getting is the real deal. Look at your local farms and farmer's markets for what's available, and maybe even visit where your honey is being harvested! There is no regulatory body for the terms often used on honey, but a reliable beekeeper can usually be found by reputation alone. This is a great way to support those supporting your local bees.

  5. Try not to be Afraid - I know for some, this is easier said than done, but I used to be pretty afraid of anything that buzzed and now it's more of an awareness to say "ok, what's buzzing?" Honeybee or Bald-Faced Hornet? Yes, hornets are scary, and aggressive. But bees, bumblebees, and mason bees are only ever concerned with eating nectar and pollen, not what you're snacking on. Plus, females aren't aggressive and the few solitary male bees who are territorial don't have stingers. Paper wasps, mud daubers, and golden digger wasps (all native here to the PNW) may seem creepy looking but are actually VERY beneficial (sometimes even preying on the pests that prey on your plants) and are usually not concerned with humans.
    **If you see a creepy looking bug and it's not bothering you, always try to look up what it is before acting. Be "bug wise" to what species are native to your area.

  6. Share these Tips - and for more information, here are my favorite 'Bee Advocate' organizations: NW HoneybeePlanet Bee FoundationBee GirlPollinator PartnershipThe Bee Conservancy and Project Apis m.

Honeybee on a bright yellow squash flower
Honeybee on a bright yellow squash flower
Fuzzy bumblebee in bright red dahlia flower
Fuzzy bumblebee in bright red dahlia flower
Golden Digger Wasp feeding on nectar from Rosemary blossoms
Golden Digger Wasp feeding on nectar from Rosemary blossoms