Bees’ Needs Week - What’s all the Buzz About?
by Helen Steiger
What's Going On Here?
It’s Bees’ Needs Week here in the UK (8-15th July), which will see a week of activities to raise awareness of the importance of our yellow and black friends (and fellow pollinators)!
What Does This Mean?
In celebration, Carnaby Street in London has been renamed Carnabee Street, featuring a pop-up Hive of educational and fun activities including a Bumblearium and honey tasting (someone had a lot of fun with the names for this event hey?!).
On Friday (12th July) there will also be a citizen-science project called Flower –Insect Timed (FIT) counts - where you count the number of pollinators that land on a patch of flowers within a 10-minute time period.
Why Should We Care?
Because bees and their fellow pollinators are in big trouble. And that spells trouble for all of us!
All pollinators are in decline due to a combination of climate change, high use of pesticides and a declining habitat that is suitable for pollination. Intensive farming of honey bees has even driven wild bees out of some areas, as well as transmitting new pathogens and viruses to wild pollinators. With many crops reproducing via pollination, loss of these species would have massive implications for agricultural production, with one third of our food production at risk.
Earlier this year it was estimated that wild bees have already declined by 10% and with growing pressure on agriculture to intensify production and reduction in natural, green space, this trend could continue unless action is taken.
However, this story is not all doom and gloom - progress is already being made to combat this problem. Last week it was shown how local authority action to turn unused green land into wildflower meadows has been a great success.
In The Netherlands, they’ve even turned bus stops into bee stops - helping to improve air quality, attract pollinators and create a bit of media buzz!
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