Many theories exist. One suggests intensification of agriculture has led to less wildflowers and habitats for our bees. Another theory suggests that a class of pesticides called “neonicotinoids”have contributed to their decline. The European Commssion is discussing the introduction of a precautionary moratorium on the use of these neonicotinoids on flowering plants and crops.
What can we do?
Bees are amazing animals. They pollinate our plants as they forage for nectar and pollen. It is estimated that 78% of flowering plants rely on bees and other insects to reproduce(www.capitalgrowth.org/bees/whybees/) .We need them and they need us to help enhance their environment and chances of survival.
Avoid the use of pesticides wherever possible
This takes a bit of thought and research. If you are growing vegetables pests will always be a problem. But their are many natural herbs and plants that can be used as “companion plants” to protect your crops.
Plant “bee-friendly” plants
When you are planning your garden-big or small-choose “bee-friendly” plants, such as lavender, hardy fuschia, and Michaelmas daisy. Every little helps!
Become a bee-keeper
This can seem like a scary prospect, but join a local Beekeeper’s Association and give it a go!
We at Mil have 6 hives and growing. This year we planted wildflower meadows in the garden, lavender, and fuschia bushes, which our honey bees loved, and were regularly seen busying about on. We’ll keep you posted on our “bee habitat development project”, as we hope for a kind winter for us and the bees!