By Tara Rappleye, Program Director
Across the United States the Honeybee population is declining. According to CNN, in the 1940’s there were around 5 million hives in the United States, we now only have around 2.5 million. Researchers are unsure of the exact reason for the decline in Honeybees. There has been increased awareness of this issue as more people realize the importance of Honeybees as they are the foundation to our crop supply. Without these creatures to pollinate specific crops, we may start to see a loss of certain foods we love.
Inspired by the decreasing Honeybee population 20 Daisies, 2 Juniors, 1 Ambassador, and 1 GS-NCCP Staff Member planted a Honeybee-friendly garden at the Raleigh Service Center as part of the Take Action Tuesday: 3 Cheers to Animals program on April 26th.
The Girl Scouts met at the Raleigh Service Center to learn more about how to care for animals and themselves. During the program, the Daisies went from station to station answering questions on how to care for animals such as fish, cats, and puppies and doing physical challenges to stay fit. The activity the girls enjoyed most was lifting weights. All the Daisies proved their strength as they did dumbbell curls and military press with water bottles.
The program ended with the Take Action Project lead by Olivia Loyack, Girl Scout Ambassador. Olivia is currently working on her Girl Scout Gold Award Project. Her project is centered on the decline of Honey Bee hives, spreading awareness of this issue, and creating Honeybee-friendly gardens in the community. The program went from just Council Sponsored to girl-led as Olivia shared her knowledge of Honeybees and gardening with the younger girls.
Olivia led the Daises in the planting of the Zinnias in front of the Raleigh Service Center entrance. She showed them how to properly hold and transplant the flowers into the soil. The Junior Girl Scouts in attendance took on the task of planting the larger Salvia plants in pots that are also at the entrance of the Service Center. The Daisies LOVED getting their hands dirty and planting the flowers. The Girl Scouts also created “bee baths” out of terracotta trays filled with stones and water.
After hands were washed and flowers were watered, it was time to end the day with the Friendship Circle and share what everyone learned. Many of the Daisies were inspired by this girl-led Take Action project to plant their own Honeybee-friendly garden at home.
3 Easy Ways Your Troop Can Help Save the Honeybees
1. Plant a Honeybee Friendly Garden
Grow a small garden with a few good pollinator flowers. Here are a few pollinator flowers: Zinnias, Salvia, Lavender, mint, and Daisies. Honeybees are most attracted blue and purple hued flowers.
2. Add a Honeybee bath to your garden or yard
Honeybees need water, just like people do. Take the tray of a flower pot and add a pile of small stones or a few big rocks. Then fill with water. Having the stones or rocks will help prevent the Honeybees from drowning when they land in the bath because they are crash-landers.
3. Support local bee-keepers
Buy local honey instead of honey from the store. Head to the Farmer’s Market to pick up other local produce. Supporting local farmers is supporting local Honeybees!
You can easily do a Take Action project around saving local Honeybees in your community through these three simple projects. Learning and sharing knowledge about flowers, gardens, animals, and bugs, can be tied to many GSUSA curriculum including the Naturalist Badges, Animal Badges, Daisy Flower Garden Journey, and Daisy 3 Cheers Journey.
Want to learn more about the decline of Honeybees- watch this video for more information and details!