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The busy work of bees

It's likely we are all guilty of taking a swipe at a bee, or becoming agitated at their buzzing in our backyards. However, have you ever stopped to think about a world without these fuzzy black and yellow creatures?

 

Bees play an essential role in our ecosystem. They distribute pollen between plants, enabling the continued bearing of flowers, seeds and fruit. Without this pollination, many of the plants humans and other animals rely on for food would cease to exist.

 

However despite their importance, the sad news is that both wild and farmed bees are declining significantly worldwide.  This decline has been attributed to everything from climate change, loss of habitat, pesticides and even disease.  If this decline continues it may jeopardise the sustainability of crop pollination which is essential to the food we eat every day.  In a world where food availability is already an issue, any decrease in production could have a catastrophic impact.  Not to mention the loss of honey produced.

 

So how can you help?

 

There are simple things we all can do to help keep our friends buzzing:

  • Plant bee-friendly plants in your garden: flowers, sage, lavender or alfalfa
  • Create natural habitat gardens: keep your garden pesticide free, provide shelter, water and food (such as the plants above)
  • Support your local beekeepers, or better yet, become a beekeeper
  • Wherever possible, don't intentionally harm or kill bees

 

Remember that much of the food we eats depends on the busy work of bees. So now you have a better understanding of our little yellow and black friends, and you might just think twice about not "being" friendly!