We’ve been busily working on our garden for three years now, since we purchased our first home together. One thing we haven’t added yet is many flowers and we really need to.
Not only do I want to add flowers because they add colour and interest, but also to encourage bees into our garden.
Unfortunately the population of honeybees have been declining and the importance of the bee by many is probably vastly underestimated.
A few years ago I certainly would not have realised the significance of a bee!
Why are bees important?
Bees are needed to pollinate flowers and thus enable fruit and vegetables to grow.
Around 70 of the 100 crops we eat as humans are pollinated by bees. If they did not pollinate the flowers, the food would not grow.
I experienced this myself last year as I tried to grow courgettes in my garden. The flowers did not pollinate, most likely due to a lack of bees, so they just died and dropped off and no courgettes grew.
Plants are pollinated in other ways such as by wind, insects and birds, but the most important way is by the bees that are responsible for the vast amount of pollination.
Why are bee populations declining?
Due to a variety of reasons bee populations have dramatically fallen over the past ten years:
- Wet summers
- Nasty chemical pesticides (another great reason to choose organic produce)
- Less natural habitats
How can we help to save the bees?
There are lots of ways everyone can help to save the bees. Here are some examples to get you started:
- Plant a variety of flowers in your garden
- Grow flowering fruit trees and vegetable plants
- Allow wild patches of land and wild flowers
- Create a bee nesting box
- Stop using pesticides and nasty chemicals in the garden
- Buy organic food to reduce the pesticide use even further
For more information on the importance of the honey bee, take a look at this infographic:
Infographic courtesy of First Tunnels
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