You’ve probably heard the ‘Save the bees’ messages before, but why exactly are they so important?
Even if you’re not the biggest insect lover, it’s important to be aware of how much we actually need these fuzzy friends as humans. Remember, bees aren’t typically aggressive (unlike wasps 🐝😂); these insects are pretty peaceful and will only sting you if their hive is threatened – or if you whack them out of panic and they’re afraid for their lives! In fact, if they do sting you, it’s likely to injure them or even kill them, so chances are they probably want to avoid that if possible…
Rather than swiping at them, we really need to be welcoming them into our gardens! Why?
Why are bees so important to the planet (and humans!)?
Bees are vital pollinators in nature. When they collect nectar from plants, then end up passing pollen from the male reproductive organ of one flower/plant, to the female reproductive organ of another flower/plant, and this is how plants reproduce. Without pollination from animals, such as bees, butterflies etc., plants cannot reproduce.
90% of global crops are pollinated by bees (and other pollinators, but bees are some of the most effective), and 80% of wildflowers in the UK rely on them (source). Without bees, farmers would struggle to grow certain crops at all. So not only would our green spaces and other animal habitats decline and be less diverse, our diets be hugely affected too.
How are they in danger?
There are lots of factors at play having a negative affect on bee populations, including use of pesticides/insecticides, shifts in temperatures due to climate change and habitat loss (where meadows and green spaces have been built on). More recently in the last few months, bees in the UK have also been dying from a viral disease which causes paralysis too.
According to a study in the Independent in 2018, over a third of the UK’s bee population has disappeared over the last 10-12 years. This is a huge concern and could have dramatic effects on the environment, our diets, and the agriculture industry,.
What can we do to help?
- Encourage bees into your garden by planting flowers & creating beehouse spaces
Even if you only have a small outdoor space, patio, or balcony, keeping a little tub of flowers or hanging basket could still provide some delicious nutrition for them. And you can buy mini nesting spaces like these Bee Bricks from Green&Blue to help too!
- Support local, organic farmers who don’t use pesticides on their crops (and don’t use them in your garden!)
I know it’s annoying if you’re growing plants and they start to get eaten away at by bugs, but I urge you not to use pesticides and chemicals and look into more natural ways of solving the problem.
- Choose local, ethical honey
Honey produced by local beekeepers in an ethical way is so much better than mass produced, both for sustainability and support for the local economy, but also to ensure the bees aren’t being too densely populated in small spaces which can put them at higher risk of disease.
- Help protect natural, green spaces and meadows in your area
Stay proactive about protecting the environment in your area; sign petitions and work with your local Council.
- Research how the products you buy affect animal habitats
Some products (specifically recently Almond Milk) have been called out for being a huge contributor to bee population decline and habitat loss, of also many other species too!
- Help a bee in need!
If you see a bee on the ground – it might look like it’s dead but often they can ‘pass out’ from exhaustion. If you mix some sugar with water and place it near an exhausted bee, you might just be able to nurse it back to health!
GIVEAWAY: Win a Bee Brick beehouse from Green & Blue UK for Father’s day
I’ve partnered with Cornish company, Green & Blue, to run a giveaway this week in time for Father’s day to win one of their Bee Brick beehouses! To enter, head over to the giveaway post on Instagram for more details.
Let’s celebrate the bees!