Here’s the Buzz on the Birds and the Bees

You may have heard about the birds and the bees—and how populations of both are diminishing, alarmingly in the case of bees.

Both of these creatures are essential to the delicate balance of the ecosystem because of the unique gifts they give us. Birds spread seeds and provide insect control. Without bees, we would lose important fruit and vegetable crops such as broccoli, tomatoes, apples, cherries, and, of course, sweet and delicious honey.

Each of us can play a part in protecting birds and bees, and not take for granted their presence around us. Here are a few unique gifts to help you get started attracting and appreciating them both.

This low-maintenance bee house attracts solitary bees—non-stinging, non-swarming species that are essential for pollinating flowers and nurturing lush gardens. As recommended by Britain’s Royal Horticultural Society, the wooden apiary is outfitted with two dozen slim tunnels, where gentle solitary species such as the mason bee and the leafcutter bee lay individual larvae, without the frenzy of communal hives.

Draw fine feathered friends to your yard with this bird-calling audio player that entices them to visit a feeder, perch, or birdhouse. Designed in consultation with ornithologists, the device attracts birds using calls recorded in the field, not digitally synthesized, for maximum realism. One setting plays the melodious songs of bluebirds, orioles, wrens, finches, and indigo buntings, while the other reproduces the song of beneficial mosquito-devouring purple martins.

Spot birds that arrive in your yard with these 144X magnification binoculars, available only from Hammacher Schlemmer. They adjust easily from 20X to their maximum 144X with a simple press of a lever, providing sharp, clear images. Expertly collimated to provide a single image, they use powerful, fully coated optics, allowing you to view your target from a distance, without disturbing the bird into flight. With spring finally here, these binoculars are an ideal unique gift for any nature lover.

Scientists have been studying ways to bolster populations of bees and birds alike. Possible solutions include reducing use of chemical pesticides, planting more native species of grasses and plants, and encouraging each of us to turn our backyard into an oasis for these vulnerable flying creatures. Let’s do that!

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