To celebrate World Bee Day on 20th May find out: why we need bees; simple things you can do to help them; and how to identify bees in the UK.
Why Do We Need Bees?
Yes they make honey. Yes they can sting. But did you know that without them life on earth would be in serious trouble?
Bees are one of the world's most effective pollinators. Pollinators help plants reproduce by moving pollen between flowers. 90% of all wild flowering plants depend on animal pollination, and three-quarters of the food crops we eat rely on pollinators in some way.
Did you know there are lots of other animals are pollinators? Bats, butterflies, moths, wasps, beetles, hummingbirds and even lemurs and monkeys have a role in pollinating plant species around the world!
Unfortunately, although we desperately need them, bees are under threat. Loss of habitat, pesticides and climate change are causing a decline in bee numbers.
Top tips to help bees
So what can each of us do to help bees?
- Cut your grass less often. You'll give bees a greater number of flowers to pollinate and longer to pollinate them. That's vital food! This month is "No Mow May" so it's the perfect time to let your lawn grow and to give bees and other pollinators a vital feast.
- Create your own bee hotel and provide a safe home for wild solitary bees. Find instructions from WWF here, or check out our artisan bee skeps, or bee nesters.
- Give them a snack. Bees can become tired and sometimes benefit from a sugary snack! NEVER give them honey, simply mix a couple of teaspoons of sugar with one teaspoon of water and let the bee drink from a spoon.
- Grow plants bees love. They particularly like single, open flowers and you can really help by ensuring there's a flower buffet for as much of the year as possible. Did you know purple is their favourite colour? Find more tips for bee friendly flowers, and check out our new wildflower seeds, perfect for pollinators!
Know your bees
Did you know there are around 25,000 species of bee worldwide, and 270 bee species have been identified in the UK alone?
Find out how to work out who's who with this online bee identification guide from Friends of the Earth.
Bee-Friendly Wildflowers and Mental Health Recovery
We're delighted to support the vital work of Seed of Hope by sharing their wildflower seed packets and popular gift sets! These wildflower seeds provide food for 1,500 species of pollinating insect across the UK. Every product also supports Seed of Hope's work, helping people with mental health problems to change their lives through recovery-based therapeutic gardening.
Have You Bee-n Inspired? (sorry)
At Good Things we love bees! We're pleased to offer several bee-inspired treats, all made ethically and sustainably and doing Good Things!
Find over 80 gifts for gardeners and nature lovers that support charities, empower people and protect the planet.
You might like:
At Good Things you’ll find inspiring ethical and sustainable gifts that support charities, empower people and protect our planet. Discover gifts for all ages and inspiring ideas like cards that plant trees, handmade cushions empowering people in Tanzania and eco toys made from recycled milk bottles. Have a look at our collections.