Changing the world, one bee at a time.

I’ve realized that I’ve become too passive and I hate it.

I watch and read the news and I’m outraged and hurt by all that goes on in the world. But after a few days, the effect wears off and I accept what I “cannot” change and go on with my life. The truth is, I’m tired of being lazy and selfish and thinking I can’t make a difference because I am just one person. I can make one person’s worth of a difference and, to someone, that may be all the difference in the world.

I’ve decided that it’s time I start caring and start doing what I can to see the world I want. I want people to care more about others? Then I’ll care more about others. I want people to care about climate change and the environment? Then I’ll care about climate change and the environment.

Recently I had the chance to hear some wonderful people talk about bee keeping. They had several colonies just a couple streets away from my university and they were talking about raising awareness to the fact that the population of bees is decreasing by screening Vanishing of the Bees.

(credit: Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanishing_of_the_Bees)

But why are bees really important? Turns out, they’re responsible for a little thing called pollination. Pollination isn’t just about pretty flowers; it’s about our food. Without pollination, we wouldn’t have a third of the food we currently eat. Artificial pollination wouldn’t be able to sustain the current and ever-growing human population. Without bees, humans can only sustain themselves for four years before eventually starving and dying out. This being said, why aren’t we trying to save the bees (and ourselves)?

There are a few things we can do, the first being stop using pesticides. Sure, they keep our lawns lush and green but at what cost? Luckily, there are several bee-friendly pesticides that we can use so that we can have the best of both worlds. But ideally, no pesticides are better for our bees and our health.

The second thing we can do is build a bee home. All it takes are a couple of widely available materials and an easy set of instructions. And if you find that there are a few too many bees to your liking, just contact your local bee keepers (all you Ontario folk can check here) and they should be able to get those bees off your hands and into hives. Just remember not to call some sort of pest control – we’re trying to increase our bee population, not lose the ones we’ve got!

After doing my research, I was all gun-ho and ready to turn my house into a hive. I’d forgotten one little thing: I’m deathly afraid of bees. That being said, I’ve decided maybe bee-keeping isn’t for me. But this doesn’t mean I can’t do anything to help. I’m planning on planting some bee-friendly plants for my bee friends. I just have to make sure the plants I buy aren’t treated with pesticides but that can be easily done by asking the nice people at the nursery. This doesn’t seem like much but every little bit helps.

So this brings to me to the first lesson I’ve learnt on my journey: start small. I’ve learnt not to overwhelm myself in the process of trying to be a better person. I don’t have to (and I couldn’t possibly) change the world overnight. But I can start with a single step, no matter how big or how small.

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