World Bee Day 20 May 2021
Bees are pollinators and play a critical role in healthy ecosystems, so are essential for our food production. Almost 90% of wild plants and 75% of leading global crops depend on animal pollination. One out of every three mouthfuls of our food depends on pollinators. Crops that depend on pollination are five times more valuable than those that do not.
Habitat loss and fragmentation combined with climate change are having huge impacts on bee populations. Local biodiversity is being negatively affected by the changing climate, and bees are being badly hit.
Bees can be found living in so many locations, some surprising: marshes, shingle, sand dunes, soft cliffs, heathlands, wetlands, chalk grasslands, quarries, gravel pits, sea walls and even post-industrial land.
B-Lines are an imaginative and beautiful solution to the problem of the loss of flowers and pollinators. The B-Lines are a series of ‘insect pathways’ running through our countryside and towns. They link existing wildlife areas together, creating a network, like a railway.
If you find a bumblebee which appears to be struggling, it may be that it is just resting, particularly if the bee is a queen in early spring. If you think the bee is struggling the best thing to do is gently put the bee onto a bee-friendly flower. If there are no bee-friendly flowers around, mix 50/50 white sugar and water to give the bumblebee a one-off energy boost, providing the carbohydrates it needs to fly.
We can all do our bit to help bees whether that’s in our gardens, balconies or windowsills. Plant a range of flowers in your garden, so bees have access to nectar from March to October. Bees love traditional cottage garden flowers and native wildflowers, like primrose, buddleia, and marigolds. If you have space, leave a section of the garden untended – as some bees love long grass, or making nests in compost heaps or under hedgerows. Bees love large drifts of the same flowers. And they look spectacular as well!
When choosing honey - try to go for something local, from individual beekeepers who practice sustainability. Harmful chemicals are often used in agriculture to get rid of pests in our environment. Bees can pick up these insecticides when they are pollinating and take them back to the hive. This causes declines in the bee populations and can even make it into the honey we eat! If you choose to buy organic honey you are making sure that bees are pollinating in pesticide free areas.
In order to properly store food and avoid the release of toxic substances from plastic casings, an excellent solution is the use of beeswax food wraps, made of organic cotton soaked with beeswax, 100% natural and reusable - can be washed with water and a soft sponge.
Say Yes to Life, Earth Thanks! 🌿