In the heat of one of the UK’s hottest summers, I was seeking shelter under a pair of Sweet Chestnut trees. I had my camera primed and I was leaning against one of the trees – daydreaming! Without warning two Fox cubs emerged from a wooded area directly opposite me.
I was downwind and shrouded in deep shadow. Instinctively, I started taking photographs and only needed to make the smallest of adjustments. The Fox cubs continued playing only stopping to re-position themselves before the start of the next play-fight.
Suddenly, the female ran back into the wooded area. The male heard my camera but stood his ground. He was inquisitive – he moved closer to me … stopping about 15 metres away from me and defiantly looking into my eyes. Then turning, he proudly and slowly walked away. After a few seconds, he looked back over his shoulder as if to say “it was good to see you” I whispered – “it was really good to see you also!”
I will never forget that “chance meeting” – a wonderful and humbling privilege.
Bees are the world’s top pollinators. After 100 million years of evolution, bees are the perfect pollinators. Their longstanding relationship with plants makes them perfectly adapted to recognize flowers and collect pollen; the length of a bee’s tongue is even adapted to what flower they feed on.
Bee pollination is important both ecologically and commercially, and the decline in wild bees has increased the value of pollination by commercially managed hives of honey bees. The analysis of 353 wild bee and hoverfly species across Britain from 1980 to 2013 found the insects have been lost from a quarter of the places they inhabited in 1980.
The following is an extract containing 3 facts taken from “20 facts you need to know about Bees” published by “Friends of the Earth”. I will progressively blog the remainder over the next 2 or 3 weeks. Hopefully, it will help to emphasise the Importance of Beeing a BEE and the crucial part that Bees play on our Planet.
Why do we need bees?
Bees are essential to a healthy environment and healthy economy. We rely on them and other insects to pollinate most of our fruit and vegetables. But bees are under threat and without them so is our food and economy. You can make your garden, street and community bee-friendly. It’s also vital that we persuade the government to take action. Join the generation that saves bees.
1. Bees – the perfect pollinators
What did you have for breakfast today? Jam on toast? Fresh fruit? Dried fruit in your muesli or some grilled tomatoes with your fry-up? Maybe fruit juice or a coffee?
All of this was brought to you by bees. It’s tempting to think bees just provide us with honey – but in fact they’re behind much of the food we eat, including most fruit and vegetables.
Bees are crucial to our economy – without them it would cost UK farmers £1.8 billion a year to pollinate our crops.
2. A healthy environment needs bees
When was the last time you noticed a bee buzzing around some flowers? Maybe you find them charming or annoying – either way, bees are incredibly important. They pollinate plants in gardens, parks and the wider countryside, including more than three-quarters of the UK’s wildflowers. Bees are a sign of how healthy, or otherwise, our environment is.
3. Bee-friendly spaces are good for us too
Places that are good for pollinators are good for people too. We share bees’ need for varied, natural green spaces and the essentials such places provide, such as clean air and water. They’re important if we’re going to cope with a changing climate – natural spaces absorb excess water and heat, and can offer cool shade.