WHAT’S IT GOING TO BEE?

There are around 275 species of bumblebee across the world, with 25 species alone in the UK! This may sound like a great number and variety, but in reality things are not looking too great for these furry creatures.

In the UK, two species have become extinct since 1940 and in the U.S.A, the Bombus affinis was listed under the Endangered Species Act this year.

Bombus_affinis.jpg
The Bombus affinis bee. [Source: BeeSpotter!]
So why should this be such a cause for concern? Most humans might see bees as scary animals either in their homes or when they’re sitting in a park, but bumblebees have such an important role in our environment. Bumblebees and pollinators give us a range of ecosystem services and pollination of many crops. It is estimated that these commercial crops contribute €14.2 billion per annum to the EU economy and over £400 million per annum to the UK economy.

The cause of the bee population decline is due to the ever changing intensive agriculture practices and the wildflower losses affecting these pollinators. Furthermore research has linked pesticide use with the severe decline in honey bee numbers in the UK and US.

Solutions:

  1. Support a bee conservation charity. A great charity would be the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (https://bumblebeeconservation.org/) in which they give great tips and information about how we can do our bit to help the bees.
  2. Plant bee friendly plants and wildflowers in your garden which will attract bees to pollinate.
  3. Buy beauty and cosmetics products that use honey from bees in an ethical manner. An example of this would be the hair oil, Gisou, which uses honey from bees grown in an old-fashioned way not and commercialised extensively.
  4. Shop organically or even grow your own natural produce.
  5. Stand up to protect the bees by taking part in surveys and understanding more about bees in your area!

 

Thank you for reading and if you have any questions and other suggestions let me know below!

 

[Featured image source: The Independent (web-bees-epa.jpg)]

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