The plight of the Bee
The humble and hardworking bee is a vital player in our wider ecosystem. According to Greenpeace, bees are responsible for 80% of pollination worldwide, an extremely important process as it is required for plants to reproduce and thus relied upon to sustain biodiversity and our wider food chain. Yet, honeybees are disappearing at alarming rates due to factors such as pesticide use, monocultural growing, parasites and disease, as well as climate change with varying temperatures and weather conditions restricting the habitats in which bees can survive. Consequently, the prospect of future extinction is becoming an increasing possibility for the bee, with growing fears regarding the effects this will generate for food production and its subsequent prices.
What you can do:
Plant Bee friendly plants: Bees favour a varied diet, so plant a range of species. However, keep in mind that plants with flowers are easiest for pollen collection. For more information, download the Australian Governments ‘Bee Friendly: A Planting Guide for European Honeybees and Australian Native Pollinators’
Provide water: Bees, like other organisms, need water to survive. So ensure a water source is available, ideally near the bee friendly plants. One Million Women has published a post about creating the perfect Bee Bath
Avoid chemicals and pesticides: Avoid using them on your garden and buy organic.
Buy local honey: This reduces food miles and helps to support small-scale beekeepers in your area. Plus, there is also belief that locally grown honey can act in a similar way to a vaccine for allergy suffers, who ingest and build resilience to the local pollen.
Spread the word about the importance of bees and get involved: Talk to your friends and family about the plight of the poor bee and if you wish to go a step above, how about encouraging your local council to stop using pesticides in public urban spaces.