27
JUL

Anna Celeste Watson says:
Bee Cause of Plan Bee!


Category: Climate Change, Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living
Tags: , , , , , ,


Image: Co-operative’s Plan BEE

 

Hooray, at last the Summer appears to have arrived in Dorset and most of the UK (best not speak too soon though!!!). I love seeing all the lovely wild flowers and little flying creatures in the fields, gardens and hedgerows, but have definitely noticed that there just aren’t half as many bees as there were when I was younger!

But in case you hadn’t noticed, British bees are in trouble and apparently 3 bumblebee species are already extinct which is very sad indeed. And, we need bees!

Friends of the Earth and the Co-operative are just two groups currently campaigning to raise awareness of the plight of our British bees, and ultimately, their survival affects the whole planet!

Many factors are believed to be causing bees’ decline – from habitat loss, to disease, to climate change. There is also growing evidence that some pesticides harm bees.

Thankfully, we can save bees… and that’s what Friend’s of the Earth’s ‘The Bee Cause’ campaign is all about, plus The Co-operative’s ‘Plan Bee’ campaign aims to address the decline in pollinators including bees, butterflies and moths.

Friend’s of the Earth’s ‘The Bee Cause’ campaign
Friends of the Earth are campaigning on bees because we need bees! Bees are essential to our food supply, economy and quality of life:

  • Bees pollinate 75% of our most vital crops and favourite foods.
  • Without bees and other insects we’d also have 20% less vitamin C, 41% less vitamin A and 9% less calcium.
  • Without bees it would cost UK farmers £1.8 billion a year to pollinate our crops.
  • That’s more than it costs farmers to produce all the milk consumed in the UK every year.
  • They’re essential to our gardens, parks and countryside.
  • Bees and other insects help pollinate over 75% of our plants, which in turn are vital to our insects, birds and animals.

Thankfully, they believe that people are the solution… People means the Government, so you can sign their petition to ask David Cameron to adopt a National Bee Action Plan. Let’s ensure the way we farm our food, plan our towns and cities, and protect our wildlife, is better for bees.

People also means you! You can plant bee-friendly flowers, buy local honey or go on a Bee Walk. You can help bees at home, out and about, or in schools.

Please join The Bee Cause. And help save Britain’s bees.

For more information visit Friends of the Earth’s website: http://www.foe.co.uk/what_we_do/the_bee_cause_35033.html

The Co-operative’s ‘Plan Bee’ campaign
The Co-operative launched ‘The Pollinator’, a FREE iPhone game, which allows people to learn about how to help bees in real life by following the tips given at the end of each level.

They launched Plan Bee in 2009 to help address this alarming decline of honeybee numbers which had fallen by up to 30%. In 2011, as part of our revolutionary Ethical Plan, the campaign was extended to address the decline of other ‘at risk’ pollinators such as bumblebees, solitary bees, butterflies and moths. There are currently six at risk bumblebees including the shrill and red-shanked carder bees. In addition, 72% of butterfly species are also in decline.

‘The Pollinator’ game for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, is available to download now and allows you to become ‘The Pollinator’ – a bee sent back from the future to save other bees from extinction.

For more information visit the Plan Bee website: http://www.co-operative.coop/Plan-Bee/


5Comments | Post your own comment

  • Chris Slade comments:
    "Yesterday I counted 6 species of pollinating insects avidly working the Globe Thistle, Echinops sphaerocephalus on my allotment. If somebody (Anna, that means YOU) reminds me, I shall try to collect seed for distribution. They look lovely; about 5 feet high, big thistley (but downy rather than prickly) leaves and bright blue globolar flower heads about 3″ in diameter. "
    August 12, 2012 a 10:58 am

  • Chris Slade comments:
    "A few days ago I visited ‘Bee Happy Plants’at South Chard and bought eleagnus, salvia, anise hyssop, leptospermum, rhodiola and minardo fistulosa among other bee-friendly plants. The nursery owner, Sarah Holdsworth, doesn’t have bees herself but is passionate about their welfare and we had a pleasant chat.
    Although the nursery is more geared up for postal sales, it is so close to West Dorset that the fuel costs less than the postage. I’ll visit again. Look at her web site: http://www.beehappyplants.co.uk "

    August 8, 2012 a 11:39 am

  • Chris Slade comments:
    "Apart from H20, in absence or excess, the chemical that has had the most deleterious effect on pollinators is probably Round Up. This means that absolutely nothing grows in fields except that planted by the farmer, leaving nothing for the pollinating insects to feed on and, a step up the food chain, nothing for insectivorous birds. Last year I saw more swallows in 2 days in Co. Galway than all summer in Dorset, but there are a few more here this year. What can YOU do? Unless you’re into bowls, turn your lawn into a wild flower meadow. Plant your borders and beds with a range of flowers that will feed bees for most of the year as well as looking good and providing some tasty food for you. Dandelions, ivy, thistles, borage, rosebay willow herb, lavender, sage, berried fruit of all sorts, sallies (willow) of several sorts, Himalayan Balsam (the last one is frowned upon by the Authorities but beloved by beekeepers). You have no garden? Then do some subversive gardening. Get some clay, plaster of Paris, plasticine, dough or whatever you can find or devise that will roll into balls and to which seeds will stick. Boys may have a catapult that you can use; girls may find it more ladylike to carry a scarf, shawl or stocking that can, when nobody’s looking, be used as a sling! Go for a walk and fire or hurl your seeded balls into places where you perceive a need for more flowers. Then, on future walks, you can monitor progress, noting which seeds do best in your area using that method so you can adapt your mix next time. Have a care and use your common sense where to do this. Imagine that somebody’s doing it to YOUR ground and think how you’d feel about being on the receiving end. "
    August 8, 2012 a 10:21 am

  • Anna Celeste Watson comments:
    "Thanks Peter – will certainly get on the case and see if we can get some info on what plants are good to encourage bees into our gardens, so watch this space!… "
    August 1, 2012 a 9:19 am

  • Peter Bywater comments:
    "What an excellent article, would love to see a follow up about what we can do to help, like what to plant in our gardens, and who to write to at our local authorities to ask for more wild flower planting! "
    July 31, 2012 a 8:51 pm


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