Honeybees are genius little creatures. They have developed the world’s strongest and most space efficient method of building, the honeycomb formation. They are also the only insect that provides food for humans producing an amazing variety of honey including Jelly Bush Honey. The have an incredibly developed society that work together to achieve a common aim and a wonderful method of communication called of all things the waggle dance. Adorable. And one of the most precious things they accomplish is the pollination. Around a third of all of our food is dependent upon bees pollinating our crops.
However their presence is threatened and their populations are in decline, which poses a direct threat to world food production. In recent years honeybee colonies have been known to be in decline by up to 40% in the US and 45% in the UK and 25% in Europe.
Insecticides, as the name indicates, are designed to kill insects and are one of the major causes of the decline in bee populations. The other two causes are parasites/ pathogens and climate change. There are changes slowly being made to laws around the world to ban some of these neonicotinoid pesticides, however some of the bigger companies are lobbying to prevent the bans from being put in to place.
If you would like to be able to help there are a few simple things you can do. You can head to http://avaaz.org/en/save_the_bees/ to sign a petition to ban these pesticides. You can also plant bee friendly plants in your garden (we will write another blog about this soon and there is plenty of information on the net) and avoid using neonicotinoid pesticides in your garden. Purchasing organic foods also means they haven’t been treated so you will helping the bees as well as yourself. If you would like to become even more involved you could find a local action group or join a local bee group.
For further information you can visit the Greenpeace website: http://sos-bees.org
Until next time,