Paraphrased from an episode of Science Friday on NPR with Ira Plato that discussed "informal beekeeping", its benefits, bee awareness, and bee activism with David Tarpy and Kevin Matteson; one an Entomologist and the other an urban ecologist, respectively:
Informal beekeeping can be one of a number of things:
1. Reorienting and planting your garden so as to insure a healthy mix of native and ornamental flowers, especially native flowers so, for example, honey bees can be attracted while at the same time providing their larvae with a source of food, the protein from pollination.
2. Habitat Restoration: according to one of the two experts (I can't remember sorry), 70 % of bees live underground so finding the correct kind of soil for them to burrow is important if you really want to attract them. Meaning, planting native flowers may not be enough to attract them if the soil around your residence isn't conducive to their life style.
3. Reporting simple observations of bee species to aid in scientific documentation, natural preservation, and to contribute to an awareness of the importance of bees
4. Possibly becoming a licensed bee keeper who understands that bees should be carefully observed and cared for and that inexperienced bee keeping could result in unintended bee attacks and/or death of a bee colony.
Samantha: Omg, get this bee away from me!!!!
Victor: If you just sit still, the bee will probably leave you alone. Common bees are only aggressive when other animals are aggressive towards them.
Danny: What, your a bee expert now?
Victor: No, but I practice "informal beekeeping" and feel the aversion we have towards bees isn't well founded when you think of how important they are to maintaining a healthy ecosystem.
Samantha (Sarcastically): thanks Victor, really helpful!
Danny: Who could have thought Danny would ever become a "civilian scientist", much less an informal beekeeper