Help Save the Bees

As superstar pollinators, bees play a crucial role in the cultivation of crops, but their dwindling numbers mean we could face real difficulties

May 2019

Busy bees – or are they?

World Bee Day on May 20this a timely reminder of the vital importance of these extraordinary little creatures.  As superstar pollinators, bees play a crucial role in the cultivation of crops all over the world, but their dwindling numbers mean we could be facing real difficulties with crop failure and arable production if the bee population continues to decline.

Amazingly, four out of five wild and agricultural plants rely on insect pollination for survival.  To put it another way, one third of our food is dependent on insect (and especially bee) pollination.  Long term use of toxic chemicals and pesticides along with climate change have all taken their toll on our stripy friends.

And we’re not just talking about honey bees here: wild bees and bumblebees are all fantastic pollinators with the beautiful bumblebee taking the crown for sheer efficiency: a bumblebee can pollinate four times as many flowers as a honey bee and collects twice as much pollen on that fluffy body and legs!

So what can we do to boost our bees?  One solution is to start a hive yourself – bee keeping is becoming more and more popular in the UK and with care and a few sustainable pointers, this is a great way to increase biodiversity and grow bee numbers. Try to only remove surplus honey so there’s always enough left to sustain the hive.  Taking away just the right amount of honeycomb means the bees have adequate nutrition and also room to continue expanding their colony.  It’s one of the many fascinating arts of bee keeping, which perhaps is why it seems to be catching on, even in the centre of London where one of our luxury hotel members keeps hives on the roof!  If you want to give bee keeping a go yourself, aim to make a hive using recycled or repurposed materials and locate local honeybee breeds rather than importing bees from abroad; this minimises the risk of non-native invasive species upsetting the eco-balance.

If you love bees but don’t want to keep them yourself, there’s lots you can do to create an oasis in a window box, tub, a garden, or a meadow that will attract bees from spring through summer and into autumn. Think about planting highly coloured and/or scented plants like crocus, hyacinth and borage for tempting spring blooms; snapdragons, foxgloves and hosta to entice the bees over summer, while zinnias and asters will flower late in the year for a tempting early autumn source of pollen.

Lastly, a wonderfully simple hack is to avoid mowing a lawn during the day when the bees are busy (and might be among the grass). Wait until the evening in the summer if you can.

Join in on our campaign and enter our competition on:

and remember to use the hashtag #hivefiveforbees



Our members support bees

Holiday Resort Unity

Here at Holiday Resort Unity, we have a Wild Walk of which is dedicated to the conservation and education of our wildlife. We are holders for the last 3 years of the prestigious Gold Award with distinction David Bellamy Award Scheme, Honey Bee Friendly Park.   We have five live hives on site which produces over 100lbs of honey each year. To obtain this we grow 12.5 kilos of wildflowers every year on a crop rotation cycle. We produced our very first jar of Brean honey and will start selling our honey this year.   Education and awareness are important to the park, so we undertake to walk with the local school, holidaymakers and conservation groups. Our head gardener visits schools and talks to the children about the importance of bees for pollination and crop production.  #savethebees #naturetrail  #honey

National Galleries of Scotland

We love having the @Continibites bees @NatGalleriesSco Modern One and the biodiversity that they bring! Contini even sell their honey at their restaurants. Read more here on how they bees have made a comeback: #hivefiveforbees

Homelands B&B

We started beekeeping here at Homelands as an addition to our interest in gardening and the environment. We keep about 18 colonies of bees some in our wild flower garden while others are on farm land or in a wood land. Our guests can enjoy the honey for breakfast and buy to take home. We make beeswax candles from the wax produced by our bees and make our own handmade soap using beeswax and honey.

Bore Place

The market garden @boreplace is home to beehives which produce some tasty blossom honey! The produce is also used with young people on the Grow to Grow project to teach them about business skills and selling. #worldbeeday #beekind #socialenterprise #marketgarden #kentcountryside




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