Why Are Bees So Important?
They might seem like a nuisance when they’re buzzing around your picnic, but bees are so important to us and the planet. Sadly though, bees are under threat, and if we don’t act, we might be facing a future without them.
Why are bees Important?
Bees pollinate the plants we need to survive and the trees and plants that so many animals call home. In fact, research has found that bees pollinate around 16% of global flowering plants and around 400 agricultural crop plants. The plants and crops that feed livestock depend on pollination for fertilisation. With no bees around, world hunger could increase.
Of course, it’s not only about pollination. Honey bees also produce honey which is not only delicious and full of antioxidants, but has medicinal properties too.
Why are bees Under Threat?
The global bee population is in decline for several reasons;
Urban development and the destruction of forests has seen the loss of the trees and green spaces that bees used to call home. Wildflower meadows are also in decline which are an important food source for bees.
Climate change is causing seasonal fluctuations. This is disrupting bee nesting behaviour. Flowers are also blooming earlier or later than expected. Bees need a continuous supply of pollen and nectar from flowers to stay healthy, feed and raise their offspring, and prepare for hibernation. Without any sort of consistency, their survival is in jeopardy.
Parasites and diseases
Every animal on the planet is vulnerable to parasites and diseases, and bees are no exception. There’s one particular mite called the varroa mite that can transmit diseases to the bee and threaten its survival.
Non-native insects can not only threaten eco-systems, they can be a direct threat to bees themselves. For example, the Asian hornet actually eats honey bees!
How can we help protect bees?
One of the best ways to protect bees is to make sure they’ve got access to lots of the plants they love. So plant bee-friendly plants like lavender, sunflowers, and foxglove. They also love to feed on wildflowers, which brings us nicely onto our latest initiative.
Contego’s latest initiative is our ‘Save The Bees’ Campaign. As part of the campaign, we are providing packs of wildflower seeds at the Facilities Show 2022 to encourage people to do more to protect bees and their local environment.
Wildflowers attract bees and butterflies, and planting wildflower seeds greatly increases biodiversity. It also makes the areas where people live and work much more pleasant to be in.
As part of the campaign last year we provided packs of wildflower seeds to local schools, businesses, homeowners, and private landowners.
By providing the wildflower seeds to schools, it’s proved to be a great opportunity for children to learn about nature and the environment. The pupils from Pentland Primary School had some great feedback on receiving the seeds;
“Flowers make me feel happy.”
“This is so much fun. I hope they are lots of different colours.”
“We loved planting our wildflowers. We hope we get lots of bees visiting us.”
Save the Bees is just one of the initiatives we’ve launched as part of Contego Pledge, our commitment to giving back. To find out more about Contego Pledge, click here.