Get a buzz from saving the bees

Happy World Bee Day!

My friends and family will tell you how much I love these little insects. It’s even earned me my nickname - Holly Bee – and it’s rare to see me without my favourite bee necklace.

I’ve even got some fun bumble bee trainers and I’m not ashamed to say I’ve turned up to more than one fancy dress party as a honey bee!

Holly Branson holds a birthday bee cake

It’s really awful to think that thousands of bee species are facing extinction. Can you imagine a world without bees? It would be a world without sunflowers – a planet with a lot less colour and joy.

But it goes beyond this. The pollination process of bees allows plants to reproduce and entire ecosystems to thrive. Indeed, bees pollinate 75 per cent of our planet’s main food crops.

The situation is really urgent. A world without bees is a world without food. A future without bees is not really a future at all.

A recent study revealed that a third of British wild bees and hoverflies are in decline largely as a result of pesticide poisoning and manmade destruction of their natural habitats. Indeed, in the past 60 years, 97 per cent of wildflower-rich meadows have been lost as a result intensive agriculture practices, human consumption and development. The echo of bee colonies collapsing is being heard and felt all around the world.

If you’d like to learn more about the issue, I would highly recommend a podcast called The Life-Changing Power of Honeybees. I listened to it last year and it really opened my eyes to the important role that bees play on our planet.

In another piece I read recently, leading scientist Professor Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson really articulated the gravity of the situation:

“Insects are the glue in nature and there is no doubt that both the [numbers] and diversity of insects are declining. At some stage the whole fabric unravels and then we will really see the consequences.”

Etta and Artie setting up a Bee Hotel

In another piece I read recently, leading scientist Professor Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson really articulated the gravity of the situation:

“Insects are the glue in nature and there is no doubt that both the [numbers] and diversity of insects are declining. At some stage the whole fabric unravels and then we will really see the consequences.”

On a political level, we need to push for tighter pesticide policies, an end to intensive farming and stronger habitat protection measures.

On a local level, we can all become backyard bee defenders by spreading the word and creating a bee sanctuary from your home. You’ll only need as much space as a window ledge, and you can get plenty of tips for building bee houses and growing some bee-friendly plants and flowers from a brilliant book called Planting For Honeybees.

Holly Branson with Etta and Artie - Bee Hotel

Etta, Artie and I recently spent a really fun day setting up a little bee hotel in our garden. It was such a great way to increase their awareness about the natural world and the ways we can protect it.

Educating the next generation is crucial for the future of bees and that of our planet. Many schools have introduced beehives to teach children about the importance of protecting bees in a fun and tangible way.

Etta Arttie and Holly Branson in the garden

Another way to help out on a local level is to support local beekeepers and only purchase native, sustainably produced honey. I’ve also heard great things about ‘pollinator beeboms’ as a simple gift idea if you want to spread the message and conservation efforts further.

In light of the urgent news we received a couple of week ago about unprecedented levels of biodiversity destruction and its threat to our future, the need to turn our attention to the natural world has never been greater.

You might not be particularly fond of honey, bees or insects at all, but you should care for global food security, the health of humanity and that of the planet.

It’s all of our responsibility to help save the bees. Our entire future depends on it.

#WorldBeeDay #SavetheBees

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