The ancient black and yellow flying warrior gardeners, patrolling the world in a never ending quest to pollinate flowers are now under serious threat!
The commercial world of farming puts the monetary value on them in the billions, for most plants to produce fruit and veg – the bee is essential.
Given Albert Einstein’s famous prediction – “when the bee is extinct humans will have only 4 years left”, perhaps we ought to be more concerned at the rapid rate of decline in their population. Last year, the minister responsible for animal health, Lord Rooker, said if nothing is done the British honey bee could be wiped out in 10 years.
Part of the reason is due to modern agriculture methods – pesticides and fertilizers – potentially very harmful to the navigation systems of bee’s, also the fact that huge area’s of land covered with the same crop all flowering simultaneously leave huge gaps in the food supply for bees through out the season. Given these problems coupled with the dreaded mite – for the first time in 35 million years the bee is under attack. Cities with there large variety of flowers and lack of pesticides are, surprisingly, becoming havens for the struggling bee population-with bee keepers in these regions doing far better than their country counter parts. Random and freak weather events, as a result of human produced carbon emissions, are also causing major problems for the vulnerable bee.
So what can you do in such a situation? Well often it is the simple things that make the biggest difference. Buying organic food will promote a reduction in the use of harmful pesticides. Growing plenty of flowering plants, especially lots of varieties that flower at different times will provide sustained food for bee’s as well as giving your garden plenty of colour year round. Chives are great and are delicious to eat. Also, you can check out future articles in hello eco living, on how to become a bee keeper – we’ll give you the low down on to make money from honey, how to get setup fast and the health benefits you will receive, not to mention the delicious golden nectar you’ll have on tap!