Tips For Protecting Bees
We are now regularly hearing news of the diminishing bee & insect populations in Ireland & across the world. In recent reports it has been suggested that populations of beetles & bees could drop by around 40% putting their number in a very fragile state.
The cause of this lost has mainly been attributed to two trends...
- The lost of habitat due to increase in urbanisation
- The increase in use of chemicals due to intensive farming
It is fair to say that neither of these two facts would come as a shock to anyone. But what may come as a shock is the repercussions of such a devastating blow to insect numbers. Insects & bees are essential in pollination of plants & flowers.
Without pollination, flowers would not develop into fruits & seeds would not be produced. This loss of grand scale pollination would lead to a 25% drop in crop production effecting wheat, corn, sugar, honey, coffee, cider, strawberries, tomatoes, chocolate, and, well everything!
So what difference can we make in our gardens? Well luckily we can all make a difference, be it on a large or small scale.
To tackle the first issue, we can create habitats for bees & insects. There are a number of ways to do this
- Set up a bug hotel (See our products associated with this article )
- Position old logs around your garden
- Allow areas of long grass to develop in your garden
- Create a wildflower meadow with native flowers such as Cornflower, Yarrow, Birdsfoot Trefoil, Corn Marigold, Corn Poppy, Corncockle, Cowslip, Devil's Bit Scabious, Field Scabious, Fleabane, Foxglove & more
- Plant native plants & keep native hedgerows by planting whitethorn, blackthorn, willow, wild rose, guelder rose & elder
- Create a nectar patch by planting big showy flowers such as Buddehlia, Echinacea, Foxgloves, Rudbeckia & more
- Avoid mass scale weed control
Of course the bigger issue that we can not ignore is the issue of pesticides. A more concerted effort has been made recently to reduced the use of harmful chemicals in gardens & now there are tighter controls on the availability of pesticides & herbicides for sale. If you want to protect bees & insects then there are number of changes you can make
- Adapt organic weed & pest control methods
- If using chemicals, only use in the morning
- Follow recommended guidelines & avoid overuse
- Avoid the following chemicals: Imidacloprid, Thiacloprid, Cypermethrin