A World Without Bees
Bees are a vital component of our own food cultivation. The honey bee (Apis mellifera) is a commercially-managed species and is largely not found wild in the UK. Native species of bee include the bumblebees which are very important pollinators of crops. They have the ability to pollinate in low temperatures and are more effective pollinators of some crops than honey bees. There are approximately 220 species of other, generally smaller, native bees; the importance of these as pollinators is yet to be assessed.
Bees have been in steady decline for the last 70 years; largely as a result of intensive farming methods, which destroy flower meadows and thus affect the bees’ natural habitats. Very recent declines in honey bees have been attributed to diseases and parasites.
At our sanctuary site in Cornwall, Wild Futures has created various flower-rich areas – to provide suitable habitats for native bees.
Ways you can help:
- Provide flower-rich areas in your garden – red clover and birdsfoot trefoil are particularly good
- Leave some areas in your garden undisturbed to provide nesting areas
- Create nesting sites for solitary species – holes in south facing woodwork, bundles of canes, leave some hot undisturbed bare ground in the garden
- Support local organic growers and producers