Help save our bees!

Pesticides called ‘neonicotinoids’ are contaminating plants from root to stem to flower to fruit. The growing plant absorbs the chemicals from the pesticide into their structure and scientists have found high doses of these chemicals inside the pollen of wildflowers. In fact, according to research shared via the Soil Association only 5% of neonicotinoid treatments remain in the crop, 1% is lost as dust, 94% goes into soils and streams.

The impact of this contamination on our bee population is very damaging. It impairs their communication, homing and foraging ability, their flight activity, their ability to discriminate by smell, and their immune system. Consequently, these all have an impact on the survival of the bee.

Bees however are not the only ones being affected. Butterflies and other pollinators, leaf eaters such as caterpillars, birds and aquatic life can all suffer from neonics.

As Professor Dave Goulson at Sussex University says:

“It is clear that insects visiting wildflowers in field margins are chronically exposed to a cocktail of chemicals. The effects that this has on their health have never been studied, and there is an urgent need to do so. In the meantime, the precautionary principle would suggest that we should take steps to reduce this exposure as much as possible”

We all need to act before it’s too late. Without our bees we wouldn’t be able to produce our cider and perry that everyone is so fond of because our bees are vital to the pollination process.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways in which we can all help to protect our bees and other wildlife and to ensure they have a habitat they can thrive in

  • Start by planting flowers that are pollinator favourite. You need to ensure the plants have not been pre-treated so ask at your local garden centre.
  • Avoid using neonics for pest control in your garden.
  • Write a letter to your local newspaper and tell them about the plight facing our pollinators
  • Sign petitions calling for a ban on the use of these harmful pesticides
  • Tell your MP you want a complete and permanent ban on neonics in the UK
  • Buy Soil Association-certified foods which are never treated with neonicotinoids

If you are interested in keeping bees then get in touch with The British Bee Keepers Association

The Soil Association have captured the Top Facts about Bees

If you are interested in reading detailed research regarding the use of ‘neonicotinoids’ you can click here


Photo credit to Countryfile.