8 bee-friendly ways to celebrate with your honey this Valentine’s Day

With populations dropping at a startling rate, Environment Colorado offers ways to celebrate your loved one, help bees thrive.

Save the bees

Busy bee in a flower
Natalie Woodland

Former Conservation Associate, Environment Colorado Research & Policy Center

This Valentine’s Day you can let your love grow and even spread the love to help out our fuzzy friends – the bees.

When people think about bee-friendly gifts they may jump to beeswax candles and honey. While these gifts may be sweet, we’ve compiled a list of eight buzzworthy gifts that can say bee mine while also helping save our bees and pollinators.

This gift guide comes as a new study shows the once common western bumble bee populations have dropped about 72% in parts of Colorado from climate change, habitat loss, and bee-killing pesticides like neonics.

This legislative session, Environment Colorado is calling on state legislators to save the bees by restricting the sale of neonics. Sign the petition to save the bees!

Bee pollinating blue petaled flower

Build pollinator-friendly habitats

Safe pollinator habitats continue to shrink as native vegetation is lost to roads, lawns, crops, non-native gardens, and pesticide use. To help conserve pollinators we need to ensure they have access to native plants and water, and stop using dangerous, bee-killing pesticides, like neonics, so they can get the nutrition and shelter they need to survive.

Here are 8 great ideas

1. Valentine's cards with seed paper: Let your love bloom

Every Valentine’s gift begins with a Valentine of course. Opt for a card made from seed paper so you can let your love and bee habitats bloom. Etsy as well as local gift shops and other retailers have many great options. You can also make your own seed paper. Bonus points if the card has a fun bee pun!

2. Flowering potted plants: Grow your love for months to come

Everyone knows that flowers are a staple on Valentine’s Day. Why not go for an option that will let your love grow for months to come?

Choose flowers that you can plant come spring! Be sure to opt for potted native flowers that are pollinator-friendly. Here are some great recommendations from Colorado Native Plant Society, the CSU Extension and the Denver Post to help you get started!

3. Neonic-free flower seeds & bulbs: A gift fit for your buds (free options!)

Often people unknowingly purchase seeds and bulbs that are coated in bee-killing neonic pesticides. You can go for a pollinator-safe option with Environment America’s free bee-friendly garden kit.

4. Build a bee house: Create something bee-autiful together

For those of you looking for a fun activity to do, why not build a bee house? You can do a DIY project with materials you have around the house or purchase a kit to assemble.

Did you know that bees can see color? Once your house is built you can personalize it with a coat of paint. Bees tend to prefer flowers that are blue, yellow, white, and ultra-violet, so keep that in mind when selecting a color pallet.

This is also a great activity to do with kids!

5. Bee puddlers

Just like you and me bees need to stay hydrated, you can give them a spot to do that and personalize your garden or porch by adding a bee puddler. This watering dish can take many forms that will regularly attract bees and other pollinating insects. Be sure to put some stones in it to give pollinators a place to land as they drink, since bees can’t swim!

Spend time learning about bees, together

There’s always more to learn about our pollinator friends. Over the past year articles have highlighted how studying bees could lead to making better buildings, that bees like to dance, and even play.

As more than ¼ of all North American bumble bees face some degree of extinction risk, more than ever we need to make sure people are paying attention to the bees, their needs, and stressors.

6. Bee books: For the bookworms (or “bookbees”)

There’s many great books out there to help you learn more about these fascinating creatures & their environment. Here are just some of the bee books on our reading list:

7. Bee videos: Buzz-worthy content (free options!)

There’s tons of great bee content out there, but here are a few to help you learn something new and bring a smile to your face.

8. Lovely excursions with your loved one

Colorado is home to many great organizations doing conservation work. Here are just a few of the types of places you can take a stroll this Valentine’s Day to learn about pollinators and know that your admission supports conservation efforts and education. Here are some of the many great options:

Grow your love

Make your own cards with seed paper

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels.com | Used by permission

Assorted potted flowers

Photo by Annie Spratt | Unsplash.com

Bees sipping water

Photo by Skyler Ewing on Pexels | Used by permission

Bee house

Photo by Markus Winkler | Unsplash.com

Bee-Friendly Garden Kit

Photo by Staff | TPIN

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Reducing dangerous bee-killing pesticides

This Valentine’s day we remind you to not only show love to the people in your life, but pollinators too.

As Colorado legislators consider reauthorizing the Pesticide Applicators Act in 2023, we’re calling on them to take this moment to reduce the use of neonics because we can’t afford the trajectory we’re on for our food supply and our ecosystems. For more information on Environment Colorado’s Save the Bees campaign and to add your support, click here.

Dr. John Mola, a Colorado-based researcher on the new bumble bee declines study reminds us –

The western bumble bee was among the most common bumble bee species in the west, and now it is justifiably petitioned for listing under the endangered species act... Stressors like neonicotinoid pesticides do not necessarily 'care' whether a species is of conservation concern or considered a pest. Dr. John Mola
Research Ecologist, Mendenhall Fellow, U.S. Geological Survey, Fort Collins Science Center

Natalie Woodland

Former Conservation Associate, Environment Colorado Research & Policy Center

Ellen Montgomery

Director, Public Lands Campaign, Environment America

Ellen runs campaigns to protect America's beautiful places, from local beachfronts to remote mountain peaks. Prior to her current role, Ellen worked as the organizing director for Environment America’s Climate Defenders campaign. Ellen lives in Denver, where she likes to hike in Colorado's mountains.

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