Whether you know it as the Summer Solstice, Midsommar, or Litha, the longest day of 2022 is rapidly approaching. The Summer Solstice falls on Tuesday, June 21st this year. In the Northern Hemisphere, this day marks the beginning of summer, while in the Southern Hemisphere, it marks the start of winter.
Winter is probably the last thing on your mind right now as the season of beach days and BBQs has already begun. But, for the bees, the summer solstice marks the season of contraction, with gradual changes starting to occur afterward.
A little background...
After the Spring Equinox in March, as the days grow longer, bees begin their expansion phase. During this time, the colony grows, pollen and nectar get stashed away, and the hive gains weight. The bees easily keep pests in check, and everything seems to flow effortlessly.
Then comes the Summer Solstice. As the days become shorter, the queen bee doesn't lay as many eggs, and there aren't as many flowers to pollinate, a term called nectar dearth. The foraging season is ending, and survival through the winter depends on sufficient food storage. It is during this time that we see a decrease in bee populations.
Save the bees!
One of our top priorities here at Honey Girl is to protect the bees, and summer is one of the most important times to be aware of what you can do to help!
Since bee populations naturally decrease after the Summer Solstice, we can help protect those trying to survive the seasonal heat by planting bee-friendly plants like sage, lavender, and oregano. As a bonus, you can benefit from these plants, too!
Buying organic food, avoiding chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and allowing dandelions and other weeds to grow are also great ways to support the bees this summer and year-round. And as always, if you notice a beehive on your property, contact a local beekeeper who can help safely remove the hive without damaging the bees or their home.