Bee Kind to Bees
If you didn’t know already, 20th May aka today, is World Bee Day! This day is all about raising awareness around how important bees are, and how important it is for us to protect them. As you may already know, if there are no bees there would be no us. This is because many of the world's plants are pollinated by bees. Without this pollination, the plants would die off causing a ripple effect that would eventually lead to the collapse of our ecosystem.
Bees pollinate, which then helps plants grow, reproduce and therefore provide food for us humans. They do this by transferring pollen between plants that are flowering, which then keeps the cycle of life going.
Around one third of our food production is dependent on pollination from bees, this translates into every third spoonful. Our population is growing, which means we need more food than ever. This also means we need to help bees survive the best we can.
Currently, bees are not doing so well. Bee losses have occurred in America and Europe and if these bees keep disappearing it could lead to the breakdown of the economy which puts our health and well-being at risk. Climate change, pesticides and disease are only a few of the reasons for the bee decline.
Climate change is causing bees to lose their habitats. This is because they are not able to migrate into colder areas to establish new hives. Climate change has also caused average monthly temperatures to rise which means flowers are now blooming earlier in the spring. This causes a mismatch between when flowers are starting to produce pollen and when the bees are ready to feed on that pollen. This has a very negative effect on the bees' health. It makes them less likely to reproduce and also makes them less resistant to parasites and predators. Honeybees are most susceptible to parasites such as Varroa mites and a gut parasite called Nosema ceranae. Scientists have found that lower temperatures are associated with less bees infected with parasites, which means that higher temperatures may result in a higher amount of infected bees.
However, hope is not lost, there are still many ways for us to help the bees thrive. Since pesticides are a big factor in bee decline, try and aim to spray your garden early in the morning or at sunset. This is because bees are out and about during the day collecting pollen. It also helps to provide pesticide-free drinking water for them to stay hydrated during their busy work day. Bees love wildflowers, they are organic and are also not susceptible to bugs. Planting a bee-friendly garden full of these flowers will help provide nutrients to the bees which will keep them healthy and help them grow.
If you’re keen to know more about bees, we highly recommend booking in for a Hunt and Gather Bee Co Beekeeping Experience next summer.