It’s easy to forget the significance of a small insect, especially when they are commonly mistaken for wasps or are seen as pests. In the summer it may seem like they are everywhere but the Guardian recently reported that the ‘number of wild bee species recorded by an international database of life on Earth has declined by a quarter since 1990’.
It turns out that these small creatures play a crucial part in our ecosystems and without them all existence on this planet would struggle. We can all do our bit to help save the decline of bees and a good place to start is by educating ourselves and those around us. We hope this information will emphasise the importance of these amazing creatures and encourage everyone to play their part in helping them thrive!
Let’s delve into why bees play a vital role in our existence. Next time you take a bite out of an apple, or you're chopping up your vegetables, take a moment to think about where that food has come from. Crops can only grow if the flowers that they come from are pollinated and as pollinating species, bees are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we eat.
How does it work? Without even knowing it, bees pollinate billions of plants each year. As they fly from one flower to the next in search of nectar, they leave behind grains of pollen from other plants. This transference of pollen means that the male part of the flower (the Anther) is brought in contact with the female part (the Stigma) and this transportation is what allows plants to grow and produce.
Not only do bees play a huge role in creating the foods we eat as humans, they also provide nutrition to all kinds of other wild animals. Even the honey that they make in order to feed their own colonies during the winter provide nutrition for other birds and insects too.
As it happens bees themselves are part of the natural food chain and are consumed by many insects like spiders and dragonflies. Each creature plays a role in allowing our diverse ecosystem to flourish and so if one species is in danger of dying out, we need to do all we can to protect it.
If you're worried about a bees nest in your garden or near your home, call someone who is able to relocate the queen and the rest of the hive should follow. If you see a bee struggling on a hot day you can put out some water (mixed with white sugar) to give it an extra boost or buy some wild flower seeds to spread around your garden.
Bees can be found in all areas of the UK, including in big cities. So, if you're an urban dweller you also have a part to play in saving the bees. Check out our Garden Plants collection and start creating a bee-friendly outdoor space where ever you are.
And next time you see a buzzy bee flying past and your instinct is to shew it away, try thanking it instead for keeping our planet alive!
Check out our new Bumblebee Balcony Box below and take your first step towards helping the bees!