Monthly Archives: June 2011

save our bees….



Last month I spoke about the part that gardeners play in supporting bee populations. As you will recall, I talked about the study that is being carried out by the University of Sussex. In fact you may have seen their work in a recent programme by the BBC in their series: “The great British food revival” The plight of our pollinators and in particular bees, is particularly serious as their decline will affect us all. More recently, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has reported that there is a complex cocktail of threats to honeybees. These include: air pollution, systemic insecticide use, habitat loss and the spread of bee pests and diseases. Furthermore, the UK has lost 97% of its wildflower meadows since the 1930s. This loss has impacted massively on pollinator numbers. To try to counteract this decline the Co-operative is donating £60,000 to help set up the first “bee roads” in Yorkshire. The network of corridors are planned to go national and provide a habitat for bees, hoverflies, butterflies and moths.

British honey is in short supply, and like other foods I believe buying local is important. And so, during the summer, I will be visiting a beekeeper in Horncastle to find out if I have what it takes to take up this fascinating activity and to try to produce my own honey in the future.  My only thought is to find out if I have what it takes to get “up close and personal” with a hive and not be afraid.  Fingers crossed, as I hope to become a local producer.