All about Bees
10th July is National Don’t Step on a Bee Day. Without bees there would be no refreshing Sunny D to enjoy so we should all be looking after them. Did you know…
There are over 20,000 different kinds of bee
Around the world there are many different kinds of bee, 250 species in the UK alone. But bees are under threat. You may have heard about the collapse of the honeybee colonies. Numbers in the UK and across the world are falling. This is a serious problem for our crops.
Bees work really, really hard
In the winter bees live for a few months. But over the summer they rush around pollinating plants. Worker honey bees are female, only live for about 6 weeks, and do all the work. A honey bee visits 50-100 flowers during a collection trip and produces about a twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime! Meanwhile the male bees laze around mating.
Without bees there would be no Sunny D
Bees help to pollinate about a third of our food, including oranges. Imagine a world without Sunny D. It doesn’t bear thinking about. Almonds, apples, blueberries, avocados and cucumbers all rely on bees for pollination, along with many other crops.
Don’t disturb the bees
If you come across a wild bee nest, don’t disturb it. They only last for one season so by the following year it will be gone. If you are worried about a nest, or see a swarm, contact a local beekeeper. Or become a beekeeper yourself! There are loads of courses around if you’re interested.
What’s in your honey?
Most honey in the supermarket is imported and it may contain added corn syrup if it’s really cheap. If you buy locally you know you are getting the real deal. There are loads of beekeepers all over the country produced amazing honey. Good honey is expensive. Think of it as a luxury food. The process of making honey involves thousands and thousands of bees harvesting nectar from flowers.
Bee pollen is good for you
It contains loads of different nutrients. Just like Sunny D, bee pollen contains Vitamins A, C, D and E.
Do your bit for bees
We can all help to protect bees. Firstly, don’t step on one! There is no need to kill bees. They will only sting you by mistake, if they get stepped on, and many species of bee don’t sting at all. If you have a garden, or window boxes, grow the kinds of plants and flowers that bees love. Don’t use pesticides as these chemicals can kill bees.
Find out more
Buzz About Bees is a useful website all about bees –what to do if you rescue a bee, even how to become a beekeeper.
Download the Great British Bee Count app. Log any bees that you spot and the accumulated data helps build up a picture of bee activity in the UK.