A couple of months ago I was in Waterstones picking up some summer reads. I was drawn to a gorgeous yellow cover… The title of this book – “The Bees”, also caught my attention. I read the blurb and instantly knew that I wanted to read it. Little did I know how fascinating and thought provoking it would be.
“The Bees” is a tale of survival, bravery and defying expectation, in the intriguing setting of a hive. The book explores issues of prejudice and racism, all within the insect world. What the story really highlights, are the mirroring challenges that can be found in the human world. “The Bees” is also surprisingly frightening – I really couldn’t put it down. You can buy it here.
Prior to reading “The Bees”, I didn’t have much knowledge of what a bee hive is like or how they operate. Of course “The Bees” isn’t necessarily a 100% accurate depiction of hives and the insect’s life. However, it sparked an interest in why bees are important and actually made me see them in a new light. I started considering them as individual creatures contributing towards the world we know. Unfortunately, bees are endangered due to disease, natural habitats being disrupted and destroyed; as well as the decline in beekeepers.
Eleanor Owens, Horticulturalist, says: “ I focus on planting flowers that bees enjoy and I have seen an increase of bees in my garden by doing so! A garden with bees is a more vibrant and exiting place, I always encourage clients to consider bees and wildlife when we’re designing their outside space.”
So, why are bees important?
- 1/3 of the food we eat would not be available but for bees. Bees are pollinators vital to our food chain.
- The social life of the honey bee colony provides a controversial start to thinking about the structure of societies.
- Pollination by bees is important for genetic sustainability.
- The harvest from honey bees of honey, pollen, wax and propolis has nutritional, craft, manufacturing, and medical applications.
Luckily, there are things we can do to help to protect bees and ensure their future:
- Avoid using insecticides and pesticides, there are lots of natural alternatives.
- Make your garden bee friendly!
- Find out more about bees and share what you learn with your community
- Support your local beekeepers and buy local honey
- Help to protect swarms
- Make you own insect hotel
- Become a beekeeper
- Contact your local MP or MEP
- Encourage your local authority to do more to help bees
- Look after the bees you meet. Bees only sting when provoked, just stay calm and walk away. They will soon buzz off!
I hope that this blog has taught you a thing or two and that I have encouraged you to explore the world of bees! Not only is it enchanting, it is also really important.