Bees have been some of the most successful creatures on Earth, remaining largely unchanged for millions of years, their story being closely entwined with that of plant evolution. But within living memory the picture has drastically changed; bees are in trouble, disappearing from the planet at an alarming rate.
Bees are a litmus paper – the proverbial ‘canary-in-the-coalmine’ for the health of the planet. In some industrialised nations bees are facing extinction. In Britain alone, 20 bee species have already become extinct and a quarter of those that remain are on the ‘Red List’ of threatened species so bee conservation has become an urgent priority.
Scientists are now looking at bees and other pollinators in economic terms as an ‘ecosystems service’ because without the services of bees our entire food chain would be under threat. In economic terms alone, losing bees and the pollination they provide would cost UK farming an estimated £1.8 billion a year.
APPLES, PEARS, CHERRIES, RASPBERRIES, STRAWBERRIES, BLACKBERRIES, BEANS, TOMATOES, CUCUMBERS even AVOCADOS and COFFEE are all bee pollinated. These are just a few examples, the list of all foodstuffs and other plant resources like cotton and animal feed is far greater than this.
So what are the causes of the sudden disappearance of bees?
- lack of wildflowers to provide them with a healthy diet
- loss of nest sites
- the use of toxic chemicals in agriculture
- parasites & disease
- climate change
- intensive bee farming practices
How can we help?
Our combined efforts can make a huge difference. Many individuals, groups and corporations, even whole towns are now taking up the cause.
- Support natural rather than intensive beekeeping
- Join The Friends of the Earth campaign The Bee Cause
- Buy organic food & support the work of the Soil Association
- Plant bee-friendly plants, bee-friendly flowers and native trees
- Stop using pesticides, fungicides and herbicides in farming
- Stop using pesticides, fungicides and herbicides in in our own gardens
- Join Conservation Trusts which create and preserve Wilderness areas
- Join a local initiative such as a local wildlife group in your area
- Join a national initiative such as ‘Plantlife’, ‘Buglife’, ‘Landlife’ or ‘River of Flowers’
Therapi donates at least 5% of its profits to bee conservation projects.