Looking out for Pollinators
Here at Flourish we are passionate about nature and with the decline in bees we have teamed up with Oakdale Bees to help make people aware of the importance in protecting our pollinators. 20th May 2020 is also National Bee Day so it feels fitting to share this with you all toady.
Text: Lucy Saunders | Photography: Oakdale Bees & Lucy Saunders
Why do bees need us?
Bees are pollinators, pollination results in the production of seeds allowing plants to reproduce.
'The number of bee colonies in the UK has declined since the end of World War II when there were an estimated 400,000 colonies and 80,000 beekeepers in England. The decline was due to the end of sugar rationing, increased urbanisation and lower levels of public interest and involvement in honey production. Latest figures show there are an estimated 27,000 bee keepers managing 130,000 colonies.' - Oakdale Bees
The good news is that we can help out our pollinators by following a few simple steps. If you have the space you can create a wild meadow, and wild meadow seeds thrive in poor soil. You do not need much space, even a window box is enough! If you have an area of your garden with meadow flowers, try not to cut areas of your grass until the nectar bearing flowers have stopped blooming. Also try not to use pesticides on your own lawn or garden as these can harm bees. Bees are also very thirsty during pollination season so put a small basin of water out for them, as if you would for birds.
If you do not have any garden space you can still help support the bees! You can support local bee keepers by purchasing their honey!
National Bee Day
Due to the decline in bees and the fact that our food source relies on bees and other pollinators, as well as bees relying on human intervention to stay populous, National Bee Day was introduced. It is a day to remind people of the significance of bees in our daily life and looks at ways in which individuals can support them.
Getting the kids involved:
Try to get your kids involved so they learn from a young age to love our buzzy bees as much as we do! At Oakdale Bees they have had the initiative to run with this idea and create a very own 'Beetective' pack to encourage kids to become mini detectives armed with a magnifying glass, to seek out the many different varieties of bees in gardens and hedgerows.
'One third of the world's crops rely on pollinators so it is important that we all help to try and save the bees especially the younger generation. If we can encourage kids to understand more about the bees and create a haven in their environment it will hopefully engender a lifelong respect for these vital pollinators. All the missions repurpose recycled items and can be undertaken in a garden or small patio. As well as providing an opportunity to explore, research and engage with the wildlife we are so dependent on, we hope it will also engender an understanding of patience and kindness and how nature will reward' - Elisabeth Barton of Oakdale Bees.
In these kids Beetective packs you learn how to:
- Build them a home
- Plant some yummy flowers for them to feed on
- Make a water station so they can enjoy a drink
- Build a feeder to hang from a tree
Once you complete all the tasks in the pack you can then reward your kids with their very own Beetective Certificate classifying them as a friend of the bees!
How to not get stung:
Some people have a fear of bees yet it is very unlikely that you will get stung!
1. Stay still and calm if a bee is around you or lands on you.
2. Don’t stand in front of a hive opening, or a pathway to a concentration of flowers, the saying 'busy bees' is true and they are busy going back and forth with their pollen so try not to stand in their way!
3. Learn to differentiate between honeybees and wasps. Honeybees die after they sting humans, wasps do not.