Did you know that there are 20,000 different species of bees? Of those, 4,000 are pollinators and only eight are on the endangered list. You might think that is good news and whilst honey bees many not actually be on the endangered list, the threats they face are still very concerning...
A global review published in 2019 concluded 40% of insect species are at risk of extinction in the next few decades, and in the same year a UN report has warned that biodiversity ‘indispensable to food security, sustainable development and the supply of many vital ecosystem services’ is in decline, risking ‘severe production losses or livelihood disruption’.
The East of England is one of the richest regions for bees in Britain due to the diversity of habitats present. Which makes our bees very lucky to live in and around Hastings with access to such rich variety in ecology and habitats. The coastline provides extensive marshes, shingle, sand dunes and soft cliffs that support some nationally important bee populations.
Main threats to bees:
1. Pesticides/insecticides/fungicides/herbicides, you can read more about these in our blog about the true cost of organic.
2. Infections - read more about the Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus
3. Monoculture - this relates to agriculture and the lack of variation in crops on a large scale.
4. Microplastics - airborne microplastics are accumulating on the bodies of bees read more in this article by the National Geographic.
5. Loss of habitats - due to human activity or climate change. Vital habitats are being destroyed at an alarming rate.
Make no mistake – bees are essential. They maintain the reproductive success of wild flowers and the yields of crops we eat. Sadly, a report from WWF shows, many pollinator species are struggling. The main pressures faced by bees in the east of England mirror those faced by nature the world over – devastating changes to our climate, the loss and fragmentation of vital habitats, and threats from pesticides and pollution.
What can you do to help?
Regardless of which species are endangered, there are things we can do in our own spaces that can help preserve the much-needed pollinators. See our blog on supporting honey bees in your garden here and a guide to planting for honey bees here.
With every purchase for BEE POTION you will be supporting our own bees, their local ecology and education opportunities for disadvantaged children in East Sussex. Shop the range of our natural, luxury skincare here.