By: Sam Choan from Organic Lesson
In recent years, the plight of the honey bees has been well documented – and rightly so – as they play a very important part in the production of agricultural crops. To the average person, the role that the bees play is hugely underestimated as many do not think beyond the production of honey. Ultimately, it’s important to keep in mind that around 84% of crops grown (link to PDF) for human consumption rely on insects like bees to pollinate them.
One way in which a household gardener could affect the honey bee population is through the use of chemical pesticides. Understandably, this is a common choice as gardeners look for a quick and effective solution to get rid of garden pests. However, if you want to play your part in protecting the bee population then there are a few natural methods that you could employ, one of which is the use of beneficial insects.
As the name implies, beneficial insects are those that can help get rid of pests without doing any damage to the plants in your backyard. Not all insects are bad. Some of those listed in the graphic above, like the minute pirate bug and damsel bug, may have an unattractive appearance but they are very effective at getting rid of common pests like aphids, caterpillars, and certain types of mites. How great is it that there are insects out there that’ll eradicate the pests free of charge?
The added bonus here is that you are no longer using as many chemicals that might have a negative effect on the local bee population. So what other benefits are there when it comes to using these insects?
First, using such insects could be a good way to save on money, especially if you are able to sustain the beneficial insect population season after season. Chemical pesticides are only going to get more expensive so why not use a method that takes advantage of nature? Another benefit is that there really is no resistance from the pests. According some sources, like the Pesticide Action Network, more and more insects and weed species are developing resistance against pesticides. With beneficial insects, the pests are being eaten so they have nowhere to go.
If you are a lucky, some of these beneficial insects may be native to the area so you may not have to spend a single dime to bring them to your garden. However, if you want to try your hand at importing some beneficial inspect, why not buy a batch of 1,550 live ladybugs online? If you are a gardener, then take action now before it’s too late to save the bees and other important insects. Play your part by using natural methods and by educating others on why it’s important to no longer rely on products like pesticides.
About the guest author: Sam Choan is a gardening enthusiast who enjoys writing about his experience and knowledge around organic gardening and sustainability. In his free time, Sam likes to take care of his wide assortment of herbs, vegetables, and fruits growing in his backyard. You can learn more about Sam by checking out his blog called Organic Lesson.