Did you know that tomorrow is World Bee Day? In 2017, after three years of campaigning, the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association were successful in launching this initiative within the United Nations to declare 20 May World Bee Day- and now it’s up to us to help fight for the cause. Here at Little Soap we’re 100% behind this cause- so this week we’re not only hoping to raise awareness the World Bee Day campaign, but we’re also highlighting the importance of bees and what we can do to protect them. Read on to find out more…
Why are bees important?
Bees are vital for so many reasons, one pretty major one being the overall health of our planet. So how is it that this tiny insect can have such a huge impact? Because they’re pollinators- and pollinators ensure biodiversity, have positive affects on the entire ecosystem and the ability to signal the health of local ecosystems too. Every day, bees travel vast distances in search of pollen and in doing so they ensure that fertilisation takes place between food crops and wild plants. Without this process, we would lose vital food crops that we as a planet rely on not only for food, but for employment too. Amazing, huh?
The role of wild plants
When you think about the role that bees play in the continuation of food crops around the world, it’s easy to see why we need to protect them. Without food crops entire communities would be destroyed- but why is it so important to preserve wild plants too? Put simply, we cannot live without wild plants:
Wild plants are make up a huge component of biodiversity and provide food to a wide variety of insects, birds and animals. If we no longer had wild plants, these vital components of the ecosystem would just disappear. Ultimately, our planet would lack sufficient oxygen for survival without wild plants- and that is why wild plants play such an important role and why its so important to protect bees too.
What can we do to protect bees?
Right now, bees face a variety of threats, including lack of food due to intensive farming, the use of pesticides, urbanisation shrinking agricultural spaces and climate change. So what can we do to protect them? According to the World Bee Day campaign, action can be taken in any or all of the following ways:
- Planting honey plants- trees and plants that product pollen. Good choices include willow, maple, horse-chestnut and linden trees- all of which are excellent pollen producers. Fruit trees are also great options. For more information on the best type of plants to grow, see this page on the World Bee Day website.
- Making or buying bee nests for your home. There’s a fantastic tutorial for creating a ‘bee hotel’ for your garden here.
- . if possible, try not to cut the grass at home when plants are in their most active cycles. leave it for later in the day so the bees can crack on with what they do best during the day.
- Only use pesticides if they are absolutely necessary, and only with products that are harmless to bees. Avoid spraying when its windy- either early in the morning or later at night when the bees aren’t around.
- Help to raise awareness of the importance of bees! Check out the World Bee Day website to see how you can get involved.