Save The Bees

"No Bees, No Honey; No Work, No Money” Proverb

written byMatt Davies Co-Founder, Mossy Earth

Matt Davies

A single bee colony can pollinate 300 million flowers each day. Grains are primarily pollinated by the wind, but fruits, nuts, and vegetables are pollinated by bees. Seventy out of the top 100 crops that humans consume, which supplies up to 90% of the world’s nutrition, are pollinated by bees! No bees, no food, it’s that simple. We need to save the bees from bee extinction!

Why are bees under threat of extinction?

Bee communities, both wild and managed, have been declining over the last half-century. Scientists have found that bees are dying from a variety of factors; pesticides, drought, habitat destruction, nutrition deficit, air pollution, and climate change.

Though many of these causes are interrelated, the bottom line is that humans are largely responsible for the two most prominent causes: pesticides and habitat loss.

Let's look a six ways we can help reverse the bee's recent demise and prevent a bee extinction.

Pesticides being sprayed over cereal crops . This is deadly to bee populations. Buy bee friendly foods to help save the bees from bee extinction..
Buy 'organic' or 'bio' foods to help save the bees.

Saving the bees

1. Go Organic

Honeybees feed on the flowers from nearby crops and ornamental plants, and it is vital that these are not coated in pesticides that could weaken the hive. Organic farming is the overarching new policy trend that will stabilize human food production, preserve wild habitats, and protect the bees. The nation of Bhutan has led the world in adopting a 100% organic farming policy, while eight European countries have followed suit and banned particular pesticides and genetically modified crops to help revive bee numbers.

Ensure your fruit and vegetables are organically and locally grown if possible, and that you are not using any pesticides in your own garden …even if those weeds do look unsightly on the driveway!

A bee keeper tending to his hive on an organic farm. Opting for organic produce is an easy step to saving the bees.
An organic farmer at work.

2. Build a bee hotel

Like human hotels, by building a bee hotel, you’ll be supplying accommodation, refreshment, and even breakfast for bees. Building a bee hotel is an easy win to saving your local bees. Follow this step-by-step guide on how to build and where to put a bee hotel.

If possible, recycle and reuse scrap pieces of wood or furniture, plastic bottles, and old garden canes for your bee hotel. If you have nothing at home, visiting your local waste tip to source your materials.

A bee hotel made from recycled and reused materials. A bee hotel is a great way to help save the bees from bee extinction.
An easy first step to help save your local bees.

3. Plant for pollinators

Planting for pollinators and rewild your garden, allotment, or even balcony will help honeybees immensely. Bees forage from flowers rich in nectar and pollen, the former contains the sugar they require for energy while the latter provides them essential proteins and oils. When flowers are scarce, bees can starve. Use this plant for pollinators guide to discover which plants (flowers, herbs, shrubs, and trees) to grow, and when they flower. Different bees are active throughout the year, so you’ll need flowering plants from spring to winter.

A bee taking nectar from a white flower. Planting pollinators in your garden is another simple step to help save the bees from bee extinction.
Planting for pollinators will not only help save the bees but bring colour and a wide variety of insects to your garden.

4. Build a beehive

You can make a huge impact on the health of your local ecosystem by starting a beehive. Having your own beehive can help you learn about bee biology, bee ecosystems, and improve the environment around you. Plus, you get the added benefits of bee products such as raw honey and beeswax, as well as the satisfaction and joy derived from working with a hive. Contact your local beekeeping club for more information.

A beekeeper tending to their beehive. Make saving the bees your next hobby!
Building a beehive is more ambitious than the bee hotel but will have a much bigger impact. Make saving the bees into your next hobby!

5. Support your local beekeeper

If you’re not ready for a hive of your own, you can indirectly help bees by supporting your local beekeeper. These keepers work hard to nurture their bees and better the local community for bees and humans alike. The easiest way to do this is to buy locally-made honey and beeswax products. Such as soaps, lotions, and candles.

Ten jars of local sea salt and blossom honey on sale. Supporting your local beekeeper is key to saving the bees.
Supporting your local beekeeper is key to saving your local bees from extinction.

6. Sponsor a beehive

If you’d like a hive but don’t have the time nor space, why not help fund new hive installations? The Honeybee Conservancy in the U.S. and The British Beekeeping Association are working to install stocked honeybee hives and solitary bee homes in communities across the United States and the UK respectively. By sponsoring/adopting a beehive, you aren’t only helping to save the bees, but to improve communities – beehives provide training and learning opportunities for both young and old, and the bees can help improve the local ecosystem. Such sponsorship programs provide bees and equipment to help people safely set up, maintain and observe such on-site bee sanctuaries at schools, community gardens, and green spaces.

A beekeeper checking a hive. Sponsoring a beehive is another easy yet effective way to help save the bees from bee extinction.
Sponsoring a beehive not only helps saves bees but boosts your local community.

No Bees, No Honey; No Work, No Money

Proverb

Want to learn more about bees & beekeeping?

If you’d like to learn more about bees and/or beekeeping we can recommend the following titles:

Books

The Bee Book: Discover the Wonder of Bees and How to Protect Them for Generations to Come (2016) by DK

Beekeeping: Inspiration and Practical Advice for Beginners (National Trust Home & Garden) (2017) by Andrew T. Davies

A World Without Bees (2009) by Alison Benjamin & Brian McCallum

The bee Manual: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Keeping Bees (2015) by Claire Waring & Adrain Waring

Useful websites

friendsoftheearth.uk

sos-bees.org

thehoneybeeconservancy.org

planetbee.org

backyardboss.net - Tips for planting a bee garden at home

A close up photograph of honey bees returning to their hive.

Continue reading about Rewilding Knowledge

see All Rewilding Articles