Saving the Bees
Everybody needs bees. This is no disputable myth. From the flowers in our meadows and the food we eat, right down to the very air we breathe, humanity’s lives have circled so naturally around the work of the bee for Millenia. Despite this, the standard everyday human remains their most prominent threat.
In the past 100 years 97% of wildflower meadow has been lost due to wars fought in mainland Europe, urbanisation, and agriculture. This has had a detrimental impact on our native wildlife and is responsible for the extinction of 17 bee species as well as throwing 67 more into serious danger. Current farming trends that favour the use of pesticides poison our nectar-munching friends daily.
But hope is not lost. It is no secret that we are a nation of bee-lovers, and with the efforts of continued research and awareness, people have been buzz-ying up in their efforts to protect and preserve this vital pollinator.
Bees are under threat from current farming practices, and it’s not just the use of pesticides that has pushed them out of the land. Current strategies leave large areas of wasteland from livestock as well as filling mass areas with crops such as barley and potatoes, which aren’t very friendly to the bumbling bees. To combat this, some farms across the country have started planting wildflowers around cropland in order to welcome bees back onto the premises.
In urban areas such as London, projects are ongoing to green roof the city’s unused skyline. By reintroducing wildflower plots on rooftops, bees are encouraged to continue to populate built-up areas.
In Devon, a non-profit organisation called Friends of the Bees are bumbling forward with their work on The Black Bee project. This initiative aims to re-establish breeding colonies of the native Dark Honeybee, a species that was very close to being wiped out by diseases brought over by European Honeybees, across the UK. These resilient, black-bodied buzzers evolved in the British Isles and therefore have the capabilities to withstand our damp and chilly weather, and efforts to reintroduce them could, in theory, help regrow our declining honeybee population.
Of course, we couldn’t discuss the issue of conservation without tying it into the importance of education, and beekeeping, being humanity’s oldest interaction with bees, is one of the most effective ways of educating our young on their value.
Finally, there are many ways that you at home can aid the process of rehabilitating bees. You could start in your backyard. By planting a range of different flowers in your garden you can attract all kinds of bee populations and provide them with food and habitat. If you find an exhausted bee, keep it toasty in the sun and use the trusty drop of sugar-water (no more than a drop) to get it back on its wings.
Or, as Bee Clean Soaps has opted to do, you could support a local charity that puts these initiatives into practice. Our company is committed to giving 10% of all profits to The Bumblebee Conservation Trust.
How to get buzzy and become a bee ally:
Save bees and pollinators | The Wildlife Trusts
Get involved - Bumblebee Conservation TrustHow to help a bee in distress - Honey Bee Suite