Environment

How To Save Bees

By Jil Carrara
27.02.19

Most of our food supply depends on bees, yet populations are collapsing and some species are going extinct with more under threat of extinction - here are our tips on how to help save bees.

Bees are most commonly known for honey, but the intelligent creatures are also behind most of the food we love to eat like fresh fruit, veggies, chocolate or even coffee as well as some of our favourite threads like cotton. Albert Einstein famously said that “if the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live,” but why exactly are bees important? 

Bees are crucial for the pollination of plants, as they transfer pollen from one flower to another therefore fertilising them. Many of the world’s food crops depend on bees to pollinate them as they are incredibly hard workers collecting about 20kg of pollen every year, which is more than any other insect. It is estimated that without bees it would cost UK farmers £1.8billion a year to pollinate crops manually making the black and yellow striped insect pivotal for our food supply. 

Sadly, bee populations are having a hard time with 13 species going extinct since 1900 in the UK alone, and a further 35 considered under threat of extinction. The main threats to bees are habitat loss, pesticides and climate change. It’s vital that bees have enough flowers to pollinate and a safe space to nest, which is why intensive farming and the growth of urban landscapes is threatening their existence. As the current weather in the UK is proving, seasons are shifting and therefore disrupting mating and nesting behaviours, and determining when flowers bloom which could be at a different time to when bees are active affecting their whole food supply and raison d'être. Pesticides are bad - we all know it - but the chemicals are particularly harmful to bees as their toxic properties can affect their nervous system or even harm the insects ability to reproduce

So, how do you help save bees? 

In the mood to plant more than wildflowers this weekend? Read our guide on growing your own edible garden.

How To Save Bees