Have you picked up a little bee friendly pack of seeds recently, is that how you’ve ended up here reading this… we do hope so, and welcome.
So, here at the Urban Beach we love bees, a lot, and we want to help them, and we want you to help them too!
Now as socially conscious Urban Beachers you’re probably already aware about the plight of the bee. But just in case you’ve missed it, we have some news we feel compelled to share with you. You need to know that bee populations are declining rapidly and this is becoming a global concern. Please sit down before you read this: last year 1/5 of all bee colonies did not survive the winter…you read correctly, 1 in 5 bees, that is one hell of a lot and we can’t let this go on unnoticed for yet another bee unfriendly winter.
Now, this is not just about us having our honey puffs or honey porridge or honey on toast for breakfast. It’s much more important than that. This is about ‘pollination’ and even hard cash! Bees contribute £200 million per year to the UK economy alone. You wonder where the phrase ‘busy bee’ comes from? They are busy pollinating apples, carrots and most of the fruit and vegetables in your kitchen. Two thirds of the world’s plants are pollinated by bees! Without them we would not even have tea or coffee…right, now you’re listening heh, a day without espresso is not a good day at all!
Nobody knows for certain what is causing bee losses. It’s hard to ask them, they just sort of buzz and are short on the detail. Explanations, more from observations than direct questioning, include: bad weather, pesticides, importing of non native species, viruses and a mite called ‘Varroa’. Also the commercial growing of large fields of single crops (mono cultures) is limiting the amount of pollen being produced in certain areas of the world resulting in the actual starvation of bees!
At the Urban Beach we’ve always been keen on local produce for lots of reasons. Such an approach helps local famers who carry out small scale farming of multiple crops. By changing crops in line with the seasons through the year our local farmers help ensure that pollen is around for most of the year to feed the hungry bees.
So back to the seed pack that you may have received already, or that you can pick up at the Urban Beach. Inside that pack is a mix of wild flower seeds that will provide essential nutrition for bees and also brighten up your garden year round! You should find poppies, sunflowers, marigolds, dahlias, nasturtiums and more.
We need you to plant these seeds and save the bees. Grow them in your garden, on your balcony, in your hair. Then one day, our friends and yours, the bee, will just appear and will enjoy a fine lunch, just like you can at your local friendly bistro.
Can we also be bold enough to suggest that you visit http://www.co-operative.coop/ethicsinaction/takeaction/planbee/ to find out even more and sign up to their campaign for a systematic review of the impact of pesticides on our important pollinating friends.
Thanks for reading, enjoy your honey and your flowers and come back soon for more bee news.
For those of you who are busy at work, let’s leave you with one final ‘bee fact’. ‘A bee travels an average of 1600 round trips in order to produce one ounce of honey; up to six miles per trip’. Now that is a bloody busy bee and one that deserves our respect and a bit of Urban Loving!