We celebrated World Honey Bee Day on August 21, an occasion which our Silver Investors in Wildlife, Lisa Angel, marked by creating a buzz around saving the bees!
Norfolk Wildlife Trust and Lisa Angel recently took a trip to Saint Mary's Church in Wroxham to enjoy the sight of plenty of bees in the churchyard and to celebrate the work that Lisa Angel has been doing to help save the bees, through donating £1 from every sale of their 'Help Save The Bees' tote bag to NWT.
Here's what Lisa Angel has to say about why it is so important for us to protect bees and other pollinators:
"Not only do bees produce the honey we love to spread on our toast or mix into our tea, they also play a vital role in biodiversity, the food chain and ultimately, our food supply.
Helen Baczkowska, conservation manager at Norfolk Wildlife Trust, told us that bees fertilise the majority of the world's crops that we use and eat everyday as well as pollinate the wildflowers and plants that grow alongside these important crops to feed livestock and other wildlife.
Unfortunately, recent years have seen a decline in the number of bees in the UK. Increasing use of pesticides and urban development has led to losses of pollinator habitats, especially lowland wildflower meadows that bees use to forage for food. Without wildflower meadows, bees are without suitable habitats and sufficient food to continue their integral role in our ecosystem.
Humans are primarily responsible for this and there are a number of things we can all do to help!"
So what can you do to help? As well as supporting charities such as NWT, which work to protect wildflower havens and pollinators, Helen has several tips on how to help save the bees. Lisa Angel has pulled these together in a handy list:
"Plant wildflowers for bees to pollinate:
Helen suggests planting a range of pollinator-friendly plants for bees to forage. She recommends meadow buttercups, oxeye daisies, common catsear, yarrow and even ivy as they flower at different times throughout the season, leaving bees with a plentiful supply of delicious nectar to keep them going!
If you're not sure which plants are best, keep an eye out for the RHS Plants for Pollinators logo. These are flowering plants that the RHS has specially selected as great choices for our pollinators.
Help bees when you see them struggling:
A tired bee is not an unfamiliar sight during summer and a spoonful of sugar water is the perfect little boost to get them going again. When you're out and about, keep the Beevive Bee Revival Kit Keyring handy. It includes a little glass jar of ambrosia bee syrup for them to sip on then fly away to the next flower!
However, Norfolk Wildlife Trust recommends only doing this when a worn out worker bee needs a little pick me up. Just as it is for humans, too much sugar isn't great for them and wildflower nectar is always preferable! Instead you can...
Provide a water source for bees in your garden:
Just like the rest of us, bees need a refreshing drink in the warm weather. Fill a little bowl with pebbles or marbles to provide a safe spot for the bees to stand on and top up with fresh or rain water."
We would like to say a huge thank you to Lisa Angel, who have generously donated over £1,400 to NWT from sales of their bee tote bags!
Our Corporate & Membership Development Officer, James Hogg, has shared details of how this donation is used by NWT:
"We've directed that towards our churchyard conservation scheme which is a scheme of surveying, advising and recording the wildflower and wildlife habitats in churchyards all across Norfolk.
It's a scheme that has been going now for nearly 30 years and we've got about 80 to 100 churches involved. It's so important that these precious habitats are kept secure for wildflowers and for pollinators and other insects. They're often the only uncultivated pieces of land in built up areas and even in the countryside they're rare and historic uncultivated habitats.
The purchasing of the bags gives us a substantial amount of support in terms of materials, training, interpretation and literature to help people like those looking after this churchyard in Wroxham and all over Norfolk to look after places that are really special for bees."
We look forward to continuing to work with Lisa Angel to keep raising awareness and funds to help bees and other pollinators thrive. If your company is interested in becoming an Investor in Wildlife and supporting our work, please visit our Corporate Support page.
Header image: Saint Mary's Church churchyard wildflowers by Susannah Armstrong