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World Bee Day was on May As usual I am a bit late with this. These commemorative days are coming so thick and fast it’s hard to keep up and I haven’t even finished writing about water yet. Still while special days might be great for drawing attention to an issue, that doesn’t mean we should forget about it when the day is over, so let’s pause for a moment to appreciate what bees do for us and the rest of the world and what we can do for them.

Bee worried
Bees don't just make honey. According to the UN they pollinate three quarters of the things we eat and 90% of the world’s flowering plants upon which we and many other species depend. Click here
to find out what would happen in a world without bees.

Despite this, the world has lost around 40% of its bees over the last 15 years, with the USA losing 40% of its managed hives in a single year. The main reasons are habitat loss, the use of pesticides – many countries are still using a group of agricultural chemicals containing neonicotinoids banned in the EU since 2018 because they are known to harm bees. Bees also die from disease and because of climate change which causes some plants to flower earlier or later than usual, or in new ranges beyond the reach of a particular hive.

In Australia, bushfires and drought have also wrought havoc. Beekeepers are calling for help because the loss of forest and pasture has decimated bee populations and left little food for those which remain. As if we needed yet another reason stop logging what is left of our native forests!!

What we can do for bees

Among the best things we can do to encourage bees is to plant native plants and wildflowers and to avoid pesticides. Nor do you have to live in the country. Remember bee -friendly Utrecht? Bee cities are taking off from Chicago to Melbourne, but especially in the USA where there are now 106 of them, along with 96 bee campuses.

In the countryside farmers could consider inter -planting with bee friendly species which may promote higher crop yields too. More eco -friendly farming practices and planting or retaining hedgerows could also help. Even if we must have industrial agriculture and monocultures, please leave a little corner of your property wild. Not only the bees will thank you.  Other pollinators such as butterflies and birds will appreciate it too.

Did someone say wild? I never did like mowing the gorgeous wild poppies, dandelions and mallows which spring up in my backyard. At last I have an excuse to not to do it.

Bee inspired

On a lighter note, listen to French actor Lambert Wilson read Khalil Gibran’s words about bees and pleasure or click here for more

Bee involved
Click here for seeds for bees and some activities for children

Bee Happy