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How you can protect the bees in your backyard

Taking steps to protect these pollinators is something everyone can do. Here are three things you can do right now.

BLOUNT COUNTY, Tenn. — The Blount County Beekeepers Association Apiary has six new colonies, meaning honeybees are hard at work as an important part of the environment and food supply.

Officials said these colonies give people the opportunity to see how honeybees work up close and learn about the importance of protecting them.

Taking steps to protect these pollinators is something everyone can do, right in your own backyard.

There are several small things you can do around your house to keep these bees safe. Here are three you can do right now.

1. Add some bee-friendly plants.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service said bees are attracted to bright white, yellow or blue flowers.

Experts also said it's important to plant native plants and choose ones that flower at different times of the season.

Some good plants for pollinators are purple coneflowers, black-eyed Susan or lavender.

2. Leave out some water for the bees.

They work hard pollinating all day so leave out a tray or birdbath of water.

Put rocks in it that stick out of the water so the bees can rest and rehydrate without falling in.

3. Avoid using pesticides in your yard.

The chemicals designed to get rid of pests will kill the bees too.

Instead, Tennessee's Pollinator Habitat Program said to incorporate plants that attract other insects that are beneficial for pest control.