Don’t step on a bee day is all about raising awareness of taking care of our fuzzy, buzzy friends. It’s also a great opportunity to remind each other about the importance of the bees in our ecosystem as well as sharing a few ways we can all help the bees as we go about our daily lives.
What’s the buzz about the bees for?
There are a number of reasons why bee populations are falling globally. In America Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), where entire hives of bees suddenly disappear, is causing numbers to plummet. Varroa (if you’re a keen beekeeper you will have heard about this) is a mite which shortens bees lifespans, this is becoming a real issue in the wild and in captivity. In the UK the demand for more food means agricultural practices are wiping out wild flowers which are one of the bee’s main food sources. Pesticides, habitat destruction, air pollution and global warming are also factors contributing towards the decline.
Steps you can take to save the bees.
Unfortunately global warming and air pollution aren’t things you can single-handedly stop today. That’s not new news; there are a lot of factors negatively impacting the environment which are out of our control. Luckily there are small changes we can make which all amount to a step in the right direction for our ecosystems. Below you’ll find a list of steps, some small, some a little larger which can all positively impact the bee populations in your local area and in turn, globally.
- Don’t step on a bee (of course!)
- Be aware and educate others. A general awareness of the delicacy and importance of bees is a great starting point. If you understand why it’s so important we do our best to ensure we don’t see the bees decline past critical levels and share with a friend, that’s one more person that knows what’s going on. Share this blog with others on your social media accounts to get the word out.
- Support local beekeepers. Each jar of local honey you buy helps to keep beekeepers in business which of course means that local bee populations are kept in tip top condition.
Fewer bees in your local area will lead to plants and general agriculture being negatively impacted too. Buying from a beekeeper within a few miles of where you live also reduces your carbon footprint so it really does pay to buy locally.
- Plant bee friendly plants. Aiming for a variety of bee friendly, pollen rich plants in all colours, shapes and sizes is the best way to ensure different species make good use of your garden. English lavender, apple trees, crocus, thistles, sunflowers and thyme are all plants bees tend to enjoy.
- Go a bit wild. If you have a little spare space in your garden that you don’t utilize, let it overgrow. Well maintained gardens aren’t generally great environments for insects. Dense flowers, weeds and other plants are great areas for all insects including bees to visit, feed and nest.
- Watch your seeds and soil. When buying new seeds to plant, check whether they’ve been treated with synthetic insecticides. These can cause the entire plant to be toxic to bees which is the opposite of what you’re trying to accomplish when planting new species. Certain brands of compost also contain insecticides which can be fatal to insects.
- Create a bee hotel. Some bees make individual nests for their lavae. Small tunnels and holes are ideal for solitary bees to nest down. There are endless instructions online about what to look out when buying a bee hotel and even how you can make your own!
- Become a beekeeper, it’s easier than you think! Hobby beekeepers are popping up all over the UK. It can be great fun, teaches you a lot about the environment and really brings people together. Small back garden hives are also a great way to boost the local bee population. Local beekeeping associations run courses to help those beekeeping and will even help you find the kit to get started in some cases. It’s not only a great step in the right direction to helping the environment but it’s also a great social aspect.
- Save a tired bee. Have you ever seen a lone bee sat in the middle of the pavement on a hot day? Chances are, they’re just having a rest before flying off to collect more pollen. The RSPB suggest mixing a little sugar and water on a spoon and offering it to the stranded bee. This will give the bee a much needed energy boost and allow him/her to fly away to continue bee business as usual.
We’re passionate about the abundance of wildlife living in and around our campsites. Find out more about our brand new initiative, the UK’s first ever Bee Kind Week.
We hope this post makes you mindful of the choices you make regarding the bees and how small changes can have positive impacts.