What we can all do to save the bees
- Grow more flowers, shrubs and trees that provide nectar and pollen as food for bees and other pollinators throughout the year.
- Leave patches of land in gardens to grow wild with plants like stinging nettles and dandelions to provide other food sources and breeding places for butterflies and moths.
- Cut grass less often and remove the cuttings to allow wild plants to flower and support the greatest diversity of insect pollinators by providing nectar and pollen resources, places to nest or breed and leaves for caterpillars to eat.
- Make sure we don‘t disturb insect nests and hibernation spots to make sure insects can nest in safety so that they and the next generation can survive over winter and emerge in the following spring.
- Think carefully about whether to use pesticides especially where pollinators are active or nesting or where plants are in flower. Use pesticides only if absolutely necessary and always follow the label instructions.
Why bees matter
Honey bees are among the most effective pollinators in the world and among the few species that make honey and can be managed by beekeepers. The vast majority of the over 20,000 species of bees live in the wild. Together with beetles, butterflies, flies, moths and wasps they belong to the group known as invertebrate pollinators and provide essential pollination services.
Among the pollinating insects, bees are the major pollinators. Why do bees matter? What is causing their decline? Watch this video.
What do bees and squirrels have in common?
Picture a bee visiting a flower, drinking nectar, collecting pollen and flying back home to the hive or its nest. But what about tree squirrels? Moths or bats? In fact, bats, moths and tree squirrels are important pollinators, too. Tree squirrels and bats belong to the group of vertebrate pollinators, which also includes other mammals, such as monkeys, lemurs, rodents and opossums, as well as birds such as sunbirds, hummingbirds and even some parrot species. Can you find them on our Instagram account?
How pollination works
The process of pollination describes the transfer of pollen from a male to a female part of a plant. This transfer enables both fertilisation and the production of seeds and is mainly carried out by invertebrate pollinating insects such as diverse species of bees and butterflies and small vertebrate creatures such as birds and bats. Can you spot the pollen on the legs of a bee in our Instagram account.