Posted on Leave a comment

The Buzz on World Bee Day: 5 Top Ways to Support Our Pollinator Friends

World Bee Day

May 20th marks World Bee Day, a global observance aimed at raising awareness about the essential role bees play in our ecosystems and the challenges they face. As we recognize this important day, let’s explore why protecting our buzzing friends should be a top priority.

Bees are truly the unsung heroes of the natural world. These incredible insects are responsible for pollinating over 75% of the world’s flowering plants and crops. In fact, it’s estimated that one out of every three bites of food we eat is thanks to bee pollination. From the apples and almonds we enjoy, to the vibrant flowers that bring us joy, bees are indispensable to maintaining the incredible biodiversity of our planet.

Yet despite their vital importance, bee populations have been steadily declining in recent decades due to factors like habitat loss, pesticide use, and climate change. The threats facing bees are serious, with some species already listed as endangered or threatened.

This is why events like World Bee Day are so crucial – they shine a much-needed spotlight on bees and galvanize us to take action. Whether it’s planting bee-friendly flowers, supporting local beekeepers, or advocating for more sustainable agricultural practices, each of us can play a role in ensuring a buzzing, healthy future for these pollinators.

Top 5 Ways to Help Bees:

1 – Grow a Bee-Friendly Garden: Plant a variety of native, nectar-rich flowers that bloom at different times of the year to provide a continuous food source for bees.

Planting wildflowers is one of the easiest and most impactful ways to support local bee populations. Bees rely on the nectar and pollen provided by a diverse array of wildflowers throughout the growing season. By sowing wildflower seeds in your garden, you’ll create a vibrant, bee-friendly oasis that offers a vital food source. Many wildflower seed mixes are specially formulated for pollinators and can be simply scattered onto prepared soil, requiring minimal maintenance. Within a single growing season, you’ll witness a burst of colour and new buzzing visitors to your garden as the wildflowers take root and blossom. It’s an easy, rewarding way for anyone to do their part in conserving our vital pollinator species.

Want to take it further? Then the RHS has a great guide to planting am all year round bee buffet in your garden.

2 – Support Local Beekeepers: Buy honey, beeswax, and other bee products from small-scale, sustainable beekeepers in your community.

Often your local supermarket has a local section or visit your nearest farm shop. There are also a couple of sites where you can find your local bee keepers:

3 – Avoid Pesticides: Use natural, organic methods to control pests and weeds in your garden, and encourage your local council to adopt bee-friendly landscaping practices.

Reducing your use of synthetic pesticides is crucial for protecting bees and other pollinators in the UK. Many common insecticides and herbicides are highly toxic to bees, causing direct harm or disrupting their foraging and nesting behaviours. Thankfully, there are plenty of effective natural pest control alternatives that are safe for bees and the broader ecosystem. For instance, a simple diluted apple cider vinegar spray can be used to manage aphids, ants, and other common garden pests. I’m trying this on our fruit trees and bushes. Our pomegranate bush in particular seems susceptible to pests that make the flowers drop before the fruit comes. Fingers crossed this method starts to work as I don’t want to spray pesticides on my fruit! Bicarbonate of soda is another versatile natural fungicide and insecticide that can be mixed with water for foliar applications. Essential oils like lavender, peppermint, and lemongrass also make great natural pest repellents.

Companion planting can provide additional natural defences in the garden. Planting things like lavender and onions alongside your other crops can help deter a variety of pests through their strong scents. The lavender will also attract beneficial pollinating insects. By swapping out synthetic chemicals in favour of these gentler, bee-friendly solutions, and utilising smart companion planting techniques, you can keep your garden thriving while robustly protecting the pollinators that are essential to its productivity.

If the wider use of pesticides concerns you then you might like to get involved with the Pesticide Free Towns Movement

4 – Advocate for Bee-Friendly Policies: Contact your elected representatives and urge them to enact legislation that protects bees and their habitats.

Following on from campaigning for changes in your local community there are many wider campaigns to protect bees. The Bumblebee Conservation Trust is a good place to start. Advocating for stronger bee-friendly policies, both in the UK and worldwide, is a crucial way to safeguard our vital pollinator species. Bees are under threat from a variety of environmental pressures, and supportive legislation is needed to address issues like excessive pesticide use, habitat loss, and climate change. In the UK, concerned citizens can call on their Members of Parliament to support bills that restrict the most harmful chemicals, expand pollinator-friendly plantings, and incentivise sustainable farming. At the same time, global coordination is essential, as bee populations transcend national borders. Supporting international initiatives like the United Nations’ Plan of Action for the International Pollinators, or joining advocacy groups like Friends of the Earth, can help drive policy changes that protect bees worldwide. By raising our collective voices, we can ensure a future where bees and other pollinators can thrive.

5 – Save One Bee at a Time: Carry a bee rescue kit.

If all the above seems a little overwhelming don’t forget we can all start small. Bee rescue kits are widely available but I personally recommend a bee rescue kit from Lambees on Etsy.

Lambees do this letterbox gift set with the bee rescue kit and seeds, keyring and more. Well worth checking out.

Saving even one bee on this day can be the start of saving the world

So on World Bee Day and beyond, let’s commit to being better stewards of our winged wonders. Follow the lead of passionate beekeepers, conservationists, and everyday citizens working to protect bees. Get creative in finding ways to support these industrious insects in your own community.

Because when we let the buzz back into our world, we all reap the sweet rewards. Happy World Bee Day!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.