The holiday season is in full swing and many people have begun to turn their attention towards buying gifts, spending time with family and keeping warm. This year, however, I would like to encourage you to consider giving a gift to your environment.

You may have recently heard stories about the decline in the population of honeybees in the world. This is a dangerous problem. Bees and other pollinators, like butterflies, are important in assuring that most flowering plants continue to grow and reproduce. This means they play a role in assuring that we get good crop harvests, helping to give us our apples for juice, pumpkins for pies, and so on. These pollinators help to keep the natural balance, and now they need our help to survive.

Are you interested in lending them a hand? One great way is to buy a premade bee garden or pollinator garden seed mix. These seeds can easily be spread in an area somewhere in your yard and could be a fun spring project for the whole family.

Want to do some research on designing your own unique pollinator garden? Would you rather just teach your kids about pollinators and why they’re important? The library is ready to help. I have added some book recommendations to assist you in your planning.

In “The Bee Friendly Garden,” Kate Frey combines her award-winning garden designs with the knowledge of bee expert Gretchen Lebuhn to help you along your path to creating a garden that is beneficial for honeybees. This book provides suggestions for gardens in both urban and rural areas in a wide range of sizes. This book discusses the beneficial changes for the environment and your own garden that supporting pollinators helps to bring about.

Other books adults and teens might enjoy are “The Butterfly Garden,” by Matthew Tekulsky; “The Monarch Butterfly: Biology and Conservation,” by Karen Oberhauser; and “Backyard Wildlife: How to Attract Bees, Butterflies, Insects, Birds Frogs and Animals Into Your Garden,” by Christine Lavelle.

In “What’s the Buzz? Keeping Bees in Flight,” Merrie-Ellen Wilcox provides an insight into bees’ behaviors and their importance for the hive and the planet. It then provides a variety of things people can do to help this problem that range from supporting local hives to growing bee-friendly gardens. This information is presented in a manner friendly for children between grades 4 and 8.

Other books for the younger set include “Honeybees,” by Joyce Milton; “Monarch Magic! Butterfly Activities and Nature Discoveries,” by Lynn Rosenblatt; “Butterflies,” by Josh Gregory; “The Case of the Vanishing Honey Bees: A Scientific Mystery,” by Sandra Markle; “The Buzz on Bees: Why Are They Disappearing?” by Shelley Rotner; and “These Bees Count,” by Allison Formento.

Check out mybcpl.org to search for more materials on honeybees available through Overdrive and Hoopla.

Jessica Caldwell is an assistant in circulation services of the Bartholomew County Public Library and can be reached at children@barth.lib.in.us.