I've always loved bees and when I lived in the countryside as a child I used to see them everywhere and stroke their soft fur (surprisingly I was never stung!) when I got close. I once had a funeral for a little bee (yes I was always animal obsessed!) that I found in the playground at primary school and invited all my class to come talk about our winged furry friend.
There seemed to be a huge presence of bees in Ireland when I was growing up! My grandparents had a flower garden, as well as a vegetable patch, and my summers were filled with spying on big fat bumble bees as they popped in and out of fuschia flowers. Some where so fat that they struggled to fly!
Nowadays it's obvious that there is a decline of these lovely creatures hugely due to pesticides, amongst others factors. There's less bees in my flowery Irish home when I visit and I often see dead bees on the footpath in London.
Honey bees perform about 80 percent of all pollination worldwide. A single bee colony can pollinate 300 million flowers each day. How amazing is that! Grains are primarily pollinated by the wind, but fruits, nuts and vegetables are pollinated by bees. Seventy out of the top 100 human food crops — which supply about 90 percent of the world’s nutrition — are pollinated by bees 🐝💛
Experts around the world recognise that neonicotinoids - a group of particularly powerful pesticides (insecticides to be exact) - are at the heart of why our lovely bees are disappearing so rapidly. They have warned that honeybees could extinct in Britain by 2018! What a sad fact. But there are things we can do to help.
- Planting bee friendly flowers can help create food for the bees. Bees can see purple colours more clearly than any other colour, so grow lots of purple plants, such as lavender, alliums, buddleja and catmint.
- Buy local, raw honey when you can.
- Don't use chemicals and pesticides to treat your garden.
- Bees are thirsty: put a small bowl of water outside your home. A bird bath with some stones in it, that they can crawl on, does the job nicely.
Check out: the Bumble Bee Conservation to see how you can help.
Neal's Yard also have a campaign to raise money to help the bees and have raised over £60k for bee friendly causes