Sunday, 17 January 2016

Bee update-Winter 2015/16

Snowdrops and daffodils in December, new born lambs in the field on the 21st December, the winter equinox, what is going on?

With the growing season shifting forward, how are the bees, which are essential for pollination, coping? See BBC News 'How have crops and animals coped with the mild winter'- Bees have been spotted foraging months later than usual. Bees usually do not venture out in the winter but cluster together to keep warm.  However, the milder weather has confused them.  If they do go foraging, there is a good chance they may perish in the wet conditions we are currently experiencing.  This means that come spring many bee colonies may collapse.  Sadly, the milder weather may also mean that the viruses that affect bees may proliferate.  Bees are the pollinators for the majority of our apple crops and almost half our strawberry crops as well as many more of our food crops, so this is bad news.

How can we help?  Firstly ask your MP to back the pesticide ban.  Despite an EU ban, the UK government has allowed the use two neonicotinoid pesticides on 120 days. See the Guardian- 'UK suspends ban on pesticides linked to serious harm in bees'- 

With the growing season approaching maybe you could consider planting bee friendly plants.  Last year we left an area of the lawn unmown (not too much of a hardship!) so that clover could grow.  The bees loved it!

By helping the bees, I believe we can all contribute to helping the planet.

May all livings things be peaceful and at ease
Janet x

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