Thursday, 17 September 2009

Saving our honey bees

Last Wednesday I met Sarah Brown in the garden of 10 Downing Street, with representatives from other organisations, to discuss the plight of our honey bees.

The Prime Minister’s wife is very interested in the issue and has planted bee friendly plants in No. 10’s garden. This is something we all can do and the suggestion of asking local authorities to do the same – as the WI has already done – is the obvious next step.

The veroa mite has destroyed many hives. Habitats of many species of bees and insects are also being lost because of some pesticides, lack of planting and less planting of the right vegetation. Insects are the best monitors of our environment so when the beetles, bugs and bees are not there, something is wrong.

The pollination of apple trees depends upon the bees sourcing the sweetest of pollen otherwise the apples will be made into juice rather than apples for eating.

The £10 million promised by government for research into the demise of all pollinating insects has not yet been distributed. According to the British Beekeepers Association, the same sum is still needed to reverse the plight of the honeybee according to the BBKA.

You can help by planting bee friendly plants or attending a bee keeping course at Denman College in Oxfordshire - there is always a need for more trained bee keepers.

If you want to do more, get involved in our Bee Aware Action Week: 24 – 31 October. Visit the WI website for more detilas.