August is just one month in a year where you’ll spot those small black and yellow flying creatures. Yes, that’s right, I’m speaking about the Honey Bee but unfortunately, one-third of the UK’s bee population has disappeared over the past decade and 24 per cent of Europe’s bumblebees are now threatened with extinction.
We can directly link these declines to changes in the way we farm. The intensification of agriculture has led to the destruction of habitat, and what is left is becoming increasingly fragmented. That’s why it is very important to look after these creatures, despite thinking they are harmful to us humans.
“If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live.” Whether or not Albert Einstein did actually say this, it’s still a serious cause for concern. Today is World Honey Bee Day, a perfect day to reflect on this insect and learn about how you can help the future of this species.
World Honey Bee Day
World Honey Bee Day, previously known as Honey Bee Awareness Day, is an idea put together by beekeepers in America, who petitioned the USDA in 2009 for an official day to honour Honey Bees and beekeeping. A few years down the line, people across the globe are holding a date of observation every year.
Honey Bee awareness enthusiasts will likely put a bee in your bonnet and say this is not so much a day to celebrate honey bees, as it is to promote their involvement in sustainable farming. On this day, bee lovers everywhere decorate their gardens with lavender, borage and marjoram, the bee’s knees in pollinator lures.
How Can You Help?
Here are five simple actions you can take at home to help pollinators:
- Plant for pollinators: Grow more nectar-rich flowers, shrubs and trees to provide for pollinators throughout the year.
- Let your garden grow wild: Leaving patches of land to grow wild let wildflowers grow and make great nesting and feeding sites.
- Put away the pesticide: They can harm pollinators and many other beneficial invertebrates. Consider alternatives and only use pesticides as a last resort.
- Leave the lawnmower: Cut your grass less often, and remove cuttings to let plants flower.
- Build a bee hotel and avoid disturbing or destroying nesting or hibernating insects in grass margins, bare soil, hedgerows, trees, dead wood or walls.
I hope you have enjoyed this post! Thank-you for reading.