Kit helps equip us to save the bee

By Lisa Mundy on April 19, 2013

bee_saver_kitLike most Brits I’ve got a bit of a bee in my bonnet over this bad weather. I’d like to think patience is one of my strong points, but the long winter has worn it thin and I’m chilled to the bone.

After one of our wettest summers on record last year, and a freezing spring this year, I’m still hibernating underneath multiple layers of clothing – and it’s April!

Sadly, for Britain’s wildlife, the inclement weather has more serious consequences. Wildlife experts fear some of our regular garden visitors may not emerge from hibernation at all, and if they do, they may struggle to find food as floods and frost have had a disastrous impact on natural habitats.

So, about this bee in my bonnet… the point is that it is not a ‘spring bonnet’. But the real issue is the bee! After recently raising the poor insects’ plight over pesticides, I’m now told the little creatures face a new crisis following our freezing spring.

Starving

The Bee Cause team at Friends of the Earth have revealed that prolonged periods of rain last summer made it hard for bees to forage for food. Hungry and exhausted, thousands starved to death!
And then came the snow, and more snow, and yet more snow.

The sun may be trying to put its hat on now, but is it too little too late for the bee? Not enough of the flowers they rely on at this time of year have made it through the frosts and huge losses of places to nest and find food are taking their toll.

Firstly, can I say thank you to everyone who joined the Be Cause campaign after my recent blog requesting stores stop selling bee harming pesticides. But now I have one more favour to ask. Despite the number of bee hives halving during the last 20 years, there’s still an estimated 83,000 colonies to save, and I think I may need some help with this! Before you think ’83,000? That’s plenty’, let me pet this into perspective – this number has dropped from around 182,000 in 1965.

Sting

If we lost British bees, scientists estimate that it would cost the UK over £1.8 billion every single year to pollinate crops by hand. Put simply, the threat to bees is a threat to our food chain as we know it. Now that’s the real sting in the tail.

So before you spend your entire gardening budget on blooming borders, could you put a little bit by for the Bee Cause? For £15 (cheaper than two pots of petunias) the Friends of the Earth Bee Saver Kit will not only provide you with some bee-friendly wildflower seeds, but also help fund their Bee Cause campaign.

The kit also includes a bee-friendly garden planner, a step-by-step guide to becoming a Bee Saver, a bee-identification poster, and even postcards, so you can let others know you are doing your bit for the bee. Who knows, your wildflower garden may become more than just a haven for bees? I intend to use my bee kit postcards as a traditional ‘wish you were here’ in the hope of enticing all my friends round to enjoy my new wildflower garden, along with the bees.

About Lisa Mundy

Lisa Mundy
Lisa Mundy

Lisa is an award winning NCTJ qualified journalist.

She has spent the past 17 years in print media, from paid-for local newspapers, including the Echo and Essex Chronicle, to leading national titles such as the Daily Mirror.

Lisa has experience in all aspects of the industry – news reporting, feature writing, design and editing – working from the level of junior reporter through to production editor.

Highlights of her career have included local and national campaigns on environmental, animal and child welfare issues.

She fought to save one of Essex’s last remaining ancient green lanes and also successfully campaigned to save life-saving health services at Southend Hospital.

“I believe in standing up for what’s right and helping a good cause,” she said.

Lisa has also contributed to a number of articles and books on Britain’s ancient landscape and important historical sites.

She currently lives in Leigh on Sea with her partner Andy and her rescued cat, Flumpy.

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