Save Bees and Pollinators, Sow Wild Flower SeedsKeith
Pollinators provide us with every third mouthful we eat. They’re also vital for the survival of other wild plants that support so much of our wildlife.
What do pollinators do for us
Most of us think of bees in relation to pollination, yet insect pollinators are an incredibly diverse group. Honeybees are usually kept in hives, and are likely responsible for pollinating between 5-15% of the UK’s pollinated crops. That leaves 85-95% of the UK’s insect-pollinated crops relying on wild pollinators. Many species of bee, moth, butterfly, fly, hoverfly, and beetle provide a crucial service in the UK for free, pollinating £690 million worth of crops every year. Doing this this job ourselves would be very hard and time-consuming and would cost an estimated £1.8 billion annually.
Why are pollinators under threat
Three bumblebee species have become extinct in recent decades. The recent European Red List for Bees reports that almost one in ten species of wild bee are near extinction, and over the past 50 years, half the bee, butterfly and moth species studied in the 2013 State of Nature Report have declined.
We can link these declines to changes in the way farming is done. The intensification of agriculture has led to the destruction of habitat, and what is left is becoming increasingly fragmented. More habitat loss is driven by urbanisation, and insect pollinators are also affected by the use of pesticides and herbicides, more habitat the effects of climate change, and disease.
Wildflower meadows are a major pollinator habitat, we’ve lost 97% of them since the 1930s.
Do what you can to help. Sow wild flower seeds in a section of your garden. Buy a bug house. How about
beekeeping as a hobby.