Living in the British countryside it is almost impossible not to bump into a bee in the garden or in the beautiful outdoors. However, in the UK bees are facing many threats including habitat loss, climate change, toxic pesticides and disease.
These threats mean 1 in 10 of Europe’s wild bee species facing extinction. As the world’s most important pollinator of food crops, it is important that we help to support our local bee populations. Luckily there are a number of things you can do to help and I have been inspired by the infographic below from Rattan Direct to share 3 ways you can help honeybees.
One of the biggest problems bees are facing is a loss of habitat due to intensive farming practices which dramatically reduces the amounts of flowering fields. Something as easy as adding a few flowering plants into your garden or getting a planter set up will help provide bees with a great food source. Make sure you avoid using any chemicals on your flowers and plant plenty of the same plant in one space as bees like nice big areas to forage.
Lilacs, penstemon, lavender, sage, verbena, and wisteria are perfect for Spring whilst mint, cosmos, squash, tomatoes, pumpkins, sunflowers, oregano, rosemary, poppies, black-eyed Susan, passion flower vine and honeysuckle are great for the Summer months. Don’t forget to add a little bee-accessible water feature (a shallow bowl containing water and some stones for the bees to stand on).
Throw out the pesticides
When people use pesticides and other chemicals in their garden they are usually thinking of getting rid of all the pesky plant eaters that generally make a gardeners life miserable but it is important to realise that anything which is released into the air and soil in the garden will injure and kill pollinators like butterflies and bees.
This is especially true when pesticides are used while flowers are in bloom as they get into the nectar and will be taken back to the hive and potentially cause colony collapse disorder. These chemicals may make your lawn look pristine and pretty but at what cost? Is the life in your biosphere worth less than your lawn?
Adopt a Beehive
Don’t own a garden? There’s no need to miss out. Why not adopt a beehive and become an armchair beekeeper? The British Bee Keepers Association gives you the chance to help support the honeybee by adopting one of their hives.
You will be supporting the environment and education projects to help the sustainability of honeybees. Simply browse the website and pick out your hive. All the British Bee Keepers Association beekeepers involved in the scheme are volunteers including young families, urban beekeepers and master beekeepers and are passionate in their fight to help make a difference to the honey bee.
For more information see the British Bee Keepers Association website.