Whether you love them or are absolutely terrified of them, there is no doubt that the world needs more bees. World Bee Day falls on the 20th May every year and hashtags such as #savethebees and #ilovebees begin to trend on social media, generating huge amounts of awareness to the decline of our bees. But one day a year isn’t going to solve the problems we are creating for our bee populations.
Due to the way we continue to change our environments, such as through urbanisation, we are slowly depleting the habitats that are best for our winged friends. As the temperatures begin the rise, due to climate change, flowers and plants that are pollinated due to the bees are flowering too early. This leads to a decrease in pollination, without it, fruits such as apples and other plants that feed our animals will struggle to grow. Say goodbye to British-grown apples in an apple pie. This will also lead to further emissions as food is imported in, continuing to effect climate change further and increasing our carbon footprint.
It isn’t only habitat loss and climate change that are affecting our bees but also the pesticides we use to protect crops. Bees are not pests, but they are killed if they come into contact with these toxic chemicals. The use of pesticides is becoming a catch-22 as farmers depend on them to keep their crops alive, but they are killing the species that promote pollination in the process. It may be time for our farmers to look towards a greener option that doesn’t affect the bees.
If we want to keep our amazing biodiversity as it is, we need to look at all the ways we can protect our bee populations, even through small things we can do in our homes such as investing in an insect house for your garden.