How to Save the Bees
The bee population is dwindling. In the past decade, the UK’s bee population has dropped by a third. Should the trend continue, this poses a significant threat to all of us. Bees play a fundamental role in our ecology, pollinating our wild plants — which, in turn, provides feed for livestock — as well as our crops. So what can be done to curb the falling bee numbers across the country and further afield?
The main causes of the bee crisis
There are a number of issues affecting the bee population in different ways. Some of these are interlinked, others not, but the consequences of each is having a significant negative effect on the lives of bees in the UK.
The main issues at play are:
- Loss of natural habitat
- Intensive farming methods
- Global warming
- Spread of disease
As you can see, honey bee colonies face a multitude of risks. Biological factors, such as heavy pesticide use in farms, is something which can be resolved in theory, but would need a strong, combined push from the government and the industry itself. Of course, this natural farming methods are not new.
Pesticides and genetic modification of crops is something very modern, and one that, despite its widespread use, has been a source of constant controversy. However, more ethical farming methods, which eschew the use of harmful pesticides, would help to encourage ecological diversity as well as protect the bee population as a whole.
Habitat loss can be seen as an equally significant factor. With natural habitats being destroyed as part of intensive developments. Agricultural development, in particular, could be planned to work with the bees rather than against them by taking a more organic approach, with conservation at the heart of it. Sustainable development is something which should permeate our society at a much greater level, but this is again something that would require a focused effort from numerous parties. Would it work? Most definitely. But getting to a point where sustainability takes centre stage is a challenge — one worth undertaking.
What can we do to help the bees?
The overriding issues — including global warming, which can damage the bees’ sensitive biological makeup — are a long term battle; one that can only be won by education and a concerted push to bring about change. However, this doesn’t mean that we can’t do our bit to help the bee population recovery.
These can include:
- Avoid using chemicals in the garden — by avoiding the use of pesticides on our gardening routine, we can encourage the bees to pollinate.
- Give them a home — beekeeping can be immensely satisfying, especially when you have context of the crisis at hand. By investing in beekeeping, looking after a colony and helping it to thrive, you are directly helping the bee population to recover. This has knock on effects to food production and the wider environment. If you don’t have the time — or the knowledge — to do this yourself, John O’Conner provides a dedicated beekeeping service to help you maintain a strong colony. For commercial businesses looking for a way to save the bees, this is something definitely worth considering. We also provide local workshops and education for local schools, helping to spread the word about bees through first hand experience.
- Humane removal — People often treat bees as pests, but by destroying a nest you are harming the wider bee population. If there are bees on your property and you need to have them removed, do so humanely. The team at John O’Conner provide a safe bee and wasp removal service which focuses on the humane removal and relocation of a nest, rather than rash destruction.
Can the bees be saved?
The bees can definitely be saved — but, as we have mentioned before, solving the crisis will take time. While the bee population has dropped significantly, there are still hundreds of millions of bees out there pollinating and getting their important work done. We do have time to curb the crisis and reverse the trend. By educating others about the essential role bees play in our ecosystem, and helping to push a greater focus on eco-friendly farming practices, we can turn the tide and save the bees.
For a wide range of grounds maintenance services carried out in an efficient, friendly manner, contact John O’Conner today. If you’re interested in playing a personal role in helping our waning bee population, talk to us about our beekeeping services. This unique service is rewarding on so many levels, and our expert team will be on hand to provide all the support you need to keep your colony thriving. To find out more, contact us today.