So what's up with bees and why are we necessary?
Think bees are just about hives and honey?
Nope, think again! There are 20,000 species of bee on the planet and 90% of these are solitary bees.
There are three basic types of bee - Bumblebees, Solitary bees and Honey bees.
Bumblebees and Solitary bees are in trouble. Honey bees aren't.
Bees have been around for about 130 million years.
Male bees don't sting.
Bees pollinate many of the foods vital to our diet and most of our wildflowers. If you like apples you need bees!
Solitary bees and Bumblebees are not agressive, don't swarm and rarely sting. (They will only sting if they feel threatened and cannot esape).
the bee sanctuary of ireland
We are the first and only native wild bee sanctuary on the planet.
55 acres (31 football pitches) of habitat completely dedicated to saving our native wild bees.
The only certified vegan organic land in Ireland.
We don't do honey bees, keep hives or sell honey.
We do wild. We do real. We do inspiration. We do action!
Located in the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains we are a breath of fresh air. A pause. A brighter future.
We are an ordinary family with big dreams for an extraordinary future. For bees. For nature. For all.
Bees are in serious trouble and if bees are in trouble we are all in trouble.
40% of bee species worldwide are threatened.
Loss of habitat.
And now climate breakdown.
Like it or not what we eat and how we choose to produce it is the main driver of this decline.
Misinformation and misguided assumptions along with a lack of bravery in offering and implementing real solutions compound the problem.
KEEPING HONEY BEES AND HIVES IS NOT A SOLUTION TO DECLINING NUMBERS OF NATIVE WILD BEES. IT IS PART OF THE PROBLEM!
Education - we need to ensure that people know about bees, understand their plight, the causes and consequences of their declining numbers and the solutions that are available.
Action - we need to inspire and lead people to take action (real, genuine action) to halt this decline in native wild bee numbers.
Correct the narrative - we need to correct the inaccuracies and misinformation that currently exist with regard to bee conservation. Lazy, misinformed, easy-option solutions have been the order of the day put forward by many. We don't have time for this.
what you can do
Realise there is a problem.
Inform yourself (and others).
Support the work we do.
Make your space bee friendly and safe. (see below)
Consider your diet, how your food is produced and the often purposely hidden effect this has on nature and bees. Make better choices. Demand better options.
make your space better for bees
Never use pesticides/herbicides -use your brain. These poisons are designed to kill and that's exactly what they do.
Forget about leaving a strip for nature - take a strip for yourself and leave the rest for nature! She and the bees need it!
Leave as much long grass as possible for as long as possible. Never cut it all at once. Lawns are so last century!
Encourage native wildflowers into your garden. Leave thing grow and see what appears. Bees love dandelions, thistles, knapweed, brambles - even docks!
Sow some native wild flowers. Be careful where you source them and ensure they are organic/untreated and native not imported.
Provide nesting opportunities for bumblebees and solitary bees. Long grass, undisturbed banks and south facing piles of exposed earth.
Be careful about bee hotels - design and cleanliness is crucial.
Grow bee friendly (often non-native) garden flowers such as cosmos, sunflower, phacelia, lavender, cornflower etc
Plant apple trees, willow trees and berries.
Be aware that most plants (even the ones labelled bee friendly!) for sale in retail outlets are more than likely treated with a cocktail of chemicals that are likely harmful to bees and other creatures. Seek out organic. Demand different.
Take time to be among bees - it'll change you!
honey bees - part of the problem
We love all bees. We're not anti beekeeping. But we are pro truth.
Our native wild bumblebees and solitary bees are in trouble. Honey bees are not. They are a kept species. In fact there have never been more honey bees on the planet in recorded history than there are today.
So buying a hive and keeping honey bees in your garden, farm or business is not doing anything to help endangered bees.
It may well be adding to the problem. Competing for ever diminishing forage. Spreading disease. Even affecting native flora.
So for sure keep honey bees but don't be under the illusion that this is positive for bumblebees and solitary bees. It isn't. It's a hobby. An earner. An industry. An extractive action.
Not a solution.