What is happening to our bees?
Bees are very important insects because they pollinate our wildflowers and crops. Sadly things aren’t going well and they are declining at a worrying rate:
- Two species of bumblebee have become extinct;
- Managed honey bee colonies fell by 53% between 1985 and 2005;
- Wild honey bees are in serious trouble;
- Solitary bees have declined in 52% of those areas studied;
Agricultural practices have changed and our hay meadows have declined by 97% since the 1930’s.
The loss of hedges means there are no wildlife corridors to follow and the increased use of chemicals such as insecticides and herbicides have a negative effect.
So, what can we do?
In 2013 a reform of the Common Agricultural Policy in Europe will influence how we farm the land. This is a real opportunity to encourage bee friendly farming using subsidies. You can play your part by signing the Friends of the Earth “Bee Cause”Campaign’s petition.
“The Carbon Fields” by Graham Harvey is an excellent read and can be loaned by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A really good thing we can all do is to plant bee and insect friendly plants in our own gardens and not use pesticides and herbicides. For lots of good ideas and advice the Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s website is a great resource.