I found this graffiti from my high street on the way to work this morning, and got inspiration to write this post. If some of you haven't already heard during the winter, bees are disappearing, and this is a serious issue we should all look into. I linked a short clip from YouTube here to introduce the issue:
What can we do then? The BBC webpage had good (and easy) instructions of how everyone can help, and this summer is a great time to start! This is a direct copy from their tips:
Buy local honey – it not only has a flavour that reflects local flora but also supports your local beekeepers to cover costs of protecting bees. In the UK there are approximately 44,000 beekeepers looking after around 240,000 hives. The vast majority of beekeepers do it as a hobby and cannot afford.
Plant bee friendly plants – where there are few agricultural crops, honey bees rely upon garden flowers for a diverse diet of nectar and pollen. Go for the allium family, all the mints, beans and flowering herbs. Bees like daisy shaped flowers such as asters and sunflowers, also tall plants- hollyhocks, larkspur and foxgloves.
Protect swarms – Swarming is the natural process by which honey bee colonies increase their numbers. If you see a swarm contact the local authority or the police - they will contact a local beekeeper to collect the swarm. Honey bees in a swarm are usually very gentle and present very little danger. They can be made aggressive if disturbed or sprayed with water. Just leave them alone and wait for a competent beekeeper to arrive.
Become a beekeeper – local beekeeping associations run courses every year to help new people to take up beekeeping, find the equipment they need and a colony of bees. For information visit the British Beekeepers' Association website.
Let's keep the planet worth living!