World Bee Day is a day that celebrates one of the most marvellous creatures on planet Earth- the glorious bee. Whether it’s a honeybee, a common carder bee or the fuzzy bumblebee, all of these buzzing creatures play a wonderful role in helping the planet.
Why are bees important?
Bees play a vital role in pollination; for the pollination and production of flowers, plants, and many different types of crops. Many of the world’s food crops depend on pollination, it has been estimated that around 70 crops in the UK depend or benefit on natural pollination. The main crops that rely on pollination include fruits, vegetables, nuts, coffee, and cocoa. Without our natural pollinators, it has been estimated that this would cost UK farmers billions of pounds due to the loss of natural Eco-systems.
Research has actually found that 1 in 3 mouthfuls of food depend on pollinators! Without bees, there could be a malnutrition problem across the globe, as many fruits and vegetables cannot be grown without natural pollinators, and we need this produce for a healthy diet.
Organic agriculture and the protection of bees…
Organic agriculture plays a crucial part in the protection of our bees. Pesticides from intensive agriculture are one of the main causes of a decline in wild bee populations. Organic agriculture has a massively reduced use of pesticides, which is highly beneficial to the population of wild bees. Instead organic agriculture uses ecologically based pest controls and biological fertilisers that are derived naturally via animal waste and nitrogen fixing plants. These methods are much more beneficial to the environment than conventional farming practices.
There are several other reasons why organic farming is much better for the bees. This includes a much larger number of varied flowers, more grassland, and increased crop diversity. In fact, it has been found that there are 75% more bees on organic farms!
Here at Eastbrook Farm, we love to look after our bees. Throughout the summer we have our own ‘wildflower field’ by the ridge-way, to encourage more wild bees to our farm and enhance the biodiversity of the wildlife around us. It really is a lovely sight to see the bees buzzing on a Summer’s day. Why not come for a farm tour with Eastbrook Experiences and see the farm for yourself?
For more information and for more ways that you can help protect our wild British bees, take a look at the following web pages:
- The Soil Association: https://www.soilassociation.org/take-action/growing-at-home/bee-organic/why-are-bees-important/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIzdKsz6u38AIVEevtCh1P3AvZEAAYASAAEgIThvD_BwE and https://www.soilassociation.org/take-action/growing-at-home/bee-organic/10-facts-about-bees/
- The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jun/17/bees-are-worth-billions-to-farmers-across-the-globe-study-suggests