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Buzzing About Bees

February 25, 2020

Strikingly armed with their gold and black uniform and furry coat, the bee is as common a sight in the garden as trees are in the woods. But why are these honey making machines facing such danger in the current climate?

You may not know this, but bees are super important to our planet… We need them! They, along with other pollinators such as butterflies and hoverflies, are an essential part of maintaining a stable, colorful and nutritious food supply for the whole world. They’re perfectly adapted to pollinate and do so by transferring pollen from flowering plants to help keep this cycle going.

Two bees collecting pollen from yellow flowers.

Did you know?

Although there are a couple of well known species of bee out there, there are actually over 20,000 known species around the world, with 270 of those calling Great Britain home. One of these is the honeybee.

The humble honeybee is most commonly kept by beekeepers who manage several hives for honey production. 220 species of bee in the UK live a solitary life, building nests on their own and collecting food and provision for themselves.

Another well known species is the bumblebee. You might be surprised to know that there are 25 different types of bumblebee and they tend to live in social environments, creating their homes in tree cavities or holes in the ground.

Hundreds of honeybees on a man made bee hive, being held by a beekeeper.
A bee hovering over a small pink wildflower.

Why are bees in trouble?

Bees pollinate about 80% of wildflowers which keeps our countryside, gardens and woodland vibrant and beautiful. Since the 1930s, more than 97% of meadows rich in wildflowers have been lost. But loss of habitat is just one element of the bees’ struggles.

Loss of food source, climate change and exposure to pesticides are all contributing factors to the decline of bees across the globe.

What can we do to help?

The great news is it’s certainly not too late for our little buzzing buddies. There are plenty of things you can do to help save the bees and here are just a few ideas…

Providing shelter for bees to nest or hibernate in will greatly help when other habitats are under threat. You can create your own little piece of luxury for solitary bees with this fantastic bee B’n’B. Then find a nice sunny sheltered spot to hang your bee hotel!

The most effective way to help bees is with lots and lots of flowers. There are many ways to do this and Beebombs are a great to help. They are seed balls full of native wildflowers that our British bees absolutely love. You can find out more about how to get hold of Beebombs here.

3 bees coming out of a yellow and blue homemade bee house.
A bee sitting on the edge of a dish drinking sugar water.

Sometimes, just like the rest of us, bees get worn out. If you see a bee motionless in a place you wouldn’t usually expect to see one, it may just be exhausted. To give our stripy little friend the boost it needs, try making it an energy drink. Make a cocktail of two parts granulated sugar and one part water then place it close to the bee. Gradually, it’ll help itself and get the boost it needs to carry on with its day.

A world without bees would have a huge effect on human survival. Our food sources and diets would become nutrient poor, colorless and dull. This isn’t about just honey or even fruit and veg. Even some of the plants grown to feed livestock rely on the pollination of bees.

We’re excited about all the positive things that can be done to help our beautiful British bees. To celebrate our furry friends, we’ve created a collection of bee-themed pieces that you can wear with pride.

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