Climate change and the extreme weather it often causes is another contributing factor in the decline of bees. It disrupts bee nesting behaviour and alters the normal seasonal timings, meaning flowers may bloom earlier or later than expected. Whilst the planting of more trees is helping to mitigate some of the effects of climate change, it is still a serious issue that could prove deadly for many of our bees.
Parasites and diseases
Parasites and diseases are another big threat to bees. The varroa mite, Varroa destructor, is a parasitic mite which clings to the back of the honey bee, passing diseases and viruses to it and gradually draining its strength.
Non-native species can pose another threat to bees. Some species in particular can cause havoc for native species – the Asian hornet, Vespa velutina nigrithorax, eats honey bees and so poses a huge threat.
How you can help bees
Luckily, it’s not too late to help save the bees from extinction. There are lots of things you can do to help protect these important creatures - most of which can be done from the comfort of your own garden.
Fill your garden with bee-friendly flowers
One of the easiest ways to help out bees is by planting lots of bee-friendly flowers in your garden. Bees favour a wide range of flowering plants, including foxglove, birdsfoot trefoil and red clover, which you can grow easily with our Seedball Bee Mix. Simply scatter the seedballs in a location of your choice and watch them sprout!
Provide shelter for bees
Like most invertebrates, bees need shelter to nest and hibernate in. You can create your own shelter or buy a ready-made ‘bee hyve’ – just hang it up in a sunny sheltered spot in your garden and watch bees filling the tubes during the spring and summer months.
Stop using pesticides
Pesticides are one of the key threats to bees, and so one way to help bees is to stop using them in your own garden. Some pests provide food for crucial pollinators, so leaving them to be controlled naturally is the best choice if you want to help save bees.
Help a bee in need
Often during the summer months you may spot a solitary bee sitting unmoving on the ground. Whilst it is easy to presume it might be dead or dying, chances are it is actually exhausted and in need of a quick pick-me-up. You can help out a tired bee by mixing two tablespoons of white, granulated sugar with one tablespoon of water, placing it near the bee so it can help itself to this homemade energy drink.