Albert Einstein is believed to have written some years ago that should Bees disappear from the surface of our Globe, mankind would only have four years of existance left.
Without them, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.
It could be said that science could provide an alternative but this is highly unlikely. Maybe they could do something about food, but other Plants and our Flowers would disappear.
Sir David Attenborough said about Vertebrates in general – “If we and the rest of the backboned animals were to disappear overnight, the rest of the world would get on pretty well. But if [the invertebrates] were to disappear, the land’s ecosystems would collapse. The soil would lose its fertility. Many of the plants would no longer be pollinated. Lots of animals, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals would have nothing to eat. And our fields and pastures would be covered with dung and carrion. These small creatures are within a few inches of our feet, wherever we go on land — but often, they’re disregarded. We would do very well to remember them.” (Source Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_in_the_Undergrowth).
There are three groups of Bee 1. The Honeybee 2. Bumblebees (24 species)_ and 3. The Solitary Bee (260 species).
It is estimated that numbers in the UK have declined by 30% since 2007.
Once again, the same reasons for decline are similar to numbers of Birds and other wildlife creatures; 1. Pesticides 2. Fewer Hedgerows due to the want of larger growing fields 3. Climate change and 4. Diseases which can cause a whole colony to die – a colony can be up to 60,000 bees.
What can we do?
I guess the obvious answer is for more people to keep Bees within an area most suited to them, but starting up is no easy task and can be quite costly and time consuming as well.
If we have a nest either in the Loft or Garden, do not kill them, a quick phonecall to any Beekeeping Group and you’ll have someone come round almost instantly. Beekeepers are forever crying out for more of them and they can be removed quite smoothly and quickly.
Grow suitable Plants, Vegetables, Fruit and Flowers for them to pollinate. Popular are Sunflowers, Sweet Alyssum, Lavender, Oregano, Fennel and Coneflowers, but many more with a quick google search.
As far as vegetables go, any flowering plane is good; Courgettes, Squash, Runner Beans, Tomatoes to name just a few.
Bees are not just about flying Insects, not just about a nice jar of local honey from the Farm Shop, they are about humans, about mankind and the future of this Planet.