The Importance of Bees
Why are bees important?
Bees are very important to the planets ecosystem as they play a vital role in sustaining it, and they pollinate a 3rd of everything we eat.
Around 400 different types of plants need bees and other insects to pollinate them as it increases their yields and quality.
Bees play a very important contribution to ecosystems around the world, for example, the seeds, fruits and berries consumed by birds and small mammals are all from plants pollinated by bees.
How do Bees Pollinate?A bee covers itself in pollen from the male part of the flower - the stamen, they carry it to the next flower and deposit the grains on the female part of this flower - the stigma.
The bee does tend to visit the same plants when they are in flower, therefore, the plants do not cross-pollinate.
Why are bees in danger of extinction?Most people have heard about colony collapse disorder, which happened in 2007 in the US and killed off a third of all honeybee colonies.Although it is not fully understood, it is believed to have been caused by a combination of parasites, pesticides, viruses and poor nutrition, sadly 40% of colonies are still dying each year in the US.
During winter the UK has honeybee losses, ranging between 10% and 33%, this data has been collected through annual surveys which started 8 years ago. During Spring and Summer when wintry weather confine the bees to the hive, bees become weak and are easy prey for the parasitic varroa mite to spread viruses that will kill off its host.
The future of wild bumblebees and solitary bees is alarmingly uncertain compared to the future of honeybees, as beekeepers are able to restock their hives each year.
Wild bees depend on their natural habitat to nest and explore, it is sadly rapidly disappearing due to modern farming practices and the ever increasing urbanisation.
97% of wildflower meadows in the UK have vanished since 1945, during this time 2 bumblebee species have actually become extinct and there are only 8 species commonly found out of the 24 left.
According to the IUCN, a quarter of the world's 250 bumblebee species are thought to be facing a risk of extinction.
John Muir, a leading voice of the conservation movement once quoted "When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world."this quote does sum up the importance of bees to the human race.....we harm at our peril.
What can we do?The David Bellamy Scheme is thinking ahead and are putting forward planning in place as to what to do to enhance biodiversity. The forethought and dedication from the scheme is coming through loud and clear in the reports being received from the assessors when they visit parks that are involved in the scheme, the reports are on the work being done at these parks.
The parks involved are partnering up with their local Wildlife Trusts to look after the important Sites of Special Scientific Interest that lie within or near their boundaries. the parks involved are laying down new hedges, they are also putting new wildflower meadows on their premises and are installing bird, bat and other nesting boxes.
Our company - Coastdale Parks, is a proud member of the David Bellamy Scheme.
At Whitby Holiday park we have several flower beds with flowers planted in them that attract bees, we also have a number of bug hotels, this is to encourage a natural habitat which will help towards sustaining our planets eco system through pollination.
Planning to help bees is another piece of forward thinking that unites all David Bellamy parks.
Bees of all kinds will be out and about feeding as the late summer approaches, this is the time of year when bees find it more difficult to find the nectar they need, therefore it is important for flower beds to be blooming with bee-friendly flowers.
To find out which flowers are bee-friendly please visit the Bumblebee Conservation Trust
https://bumblebeeconservation.org This online tool will help you to discover which are the correct
flowers, it will also recommend other flowers you could plant to help things get buzzing!