Britain has lost more wildlife than the global average – we are one of the most nature depleted nations on the planet. 75% of our countryside is farmed and if you look for the steepest declines in wildlife populations and greatest threats of national extinction, you find them on farmed land.
It’s true, our obsession with neatness kills wildlife!
This is one of the reasons why Honey bees are in danger of disappearing from our environment as farming practices continue to disturb the natural habitats at a rate which gives them little chance for re-establishment.
In addition, the honey bee is under attack from the varroa mite and it is only the treatment and care provided by beekeepers that’s keeping colonies alive. Most wild honey bee colonies have died out as a result of this disease.
It’s also been reported recently that the mysterious vanishing of honeybees from hives can be directly linked to insecticide use, according to new research from Harvard University. The scientists showed that exposure to two neonicotinoids, the world’s most widely used class of insecticide, lead to half the colonies studied dying, while none of the untreated colonies saw their bees disappear.
Our countryside needs to have a dual purpose: to grow food and support wildlife and there are so many ways which Bees support this need:-
• Bees are pollinators vital to our food chain. One-third of the food we eat would not be available but for bees. In the UK about 70 crops are dependent on, or benefit from, visits from bees!
• The harvest from honey bees of honey, pollen, wax and propolis have nutritional, craft, manufacturing, and medical applications.
• The social life of the honey bee colony provides a controversial start to thinking about the structure of societies.
• The tools which have evolved on the limbs and mouthparts of bees are neat examples of adaptation and engineering.
• Pollination by bees is important for genetic sustainability. Genes that have evolved in other animals are important to our future too.
• The economic value of honey bees and bumble bees as pollinators of commercially grown insect-pollinated crops in the UK has been estimated at over £200 million per year.
As well as Organisations such as Greenpeace and The British Beekeepers Association’s who are doing an amazing job of raising awareness of the importance of Bees and Honey, it’s been amazing to work with private company The Travelling Bee Co. on their Branding and Packaging Design and to understand what this brand is doing to actively help to reduce the demise of the honeybee population.
As well as producing an inspired choice of the finest honey’s and honey based organic products, most importantly of all, The Travelling Bee Company are actively helping to reduce the decline. From an educational point of view, this brand invites the public to take part in the journey of the relationship of the beekeeper and the honeybee, showing first-hand how they produce their natural products and demonstrating throughout the year how they feed the bees in adverse conditions and treat them for parasites as well as practices in swarm management and harvesting.
The Travelling Bee Company’s bees are homed in quality hives in beautiful locations giving you the benefits of their skills in obtaining the highest quality natural nectar and pollen.
Their ethos is that Happy Bees make the Best Honey and that is why they bundle their busy bees into their Bee-mobile and travel the North East of England and Scotland – and often further afield – setting up apiaries to give them access to the widest variety of flowers and trees in every season. In our constant search for new flavours, The Travelling Bee Company will even source from Europe and beyond.
To find out more about this inspired Brand click the button above:-
The good news is that there are a number of easy (even enjoyable) ways YOU can help honey bees to survive and, hopefully, to thrive….
For instance, next time you’re treating your garden, seek out bee friendly plants ; Let dandelions & clover grow in an area of your garden because dandelions and clover are two of the bees’ favorite foods – all you have to do is not do anything!; Stop using commercial pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers – these chemicals are harmful to the bees. And they’re also harmful to you, your family, and our soil and water supply, too; Eat more honey and buy it from a local bee-keeper – the health benefits of honey are extensive and go beyond its great taste.
Photography by Ian Wilson DECIDE.