Thankfully, the importance of bees has been highlighted for years now. In case you’ve missed the buzz, here are a few facts:
- According to the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations, approximately 80% of all flowering plants are specialised for pollination by animals, mostly insects (which includes bees). Pollination is crucial because many of our vegetables, fruits and the crops that feed our livestock rely on it to be fertilised, so without it, we could go hungry. Vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus and cucumber rely on the pollination of bees, as do apricots, strawberries, apples, tomatoes and almonds.
- While there are other methods of pollination, including by the wind, birds, bats and other insects, wild bees are among the most important pollinators because they are capable of pollinating on a much bigger scale. It is estimated that it would cost farmers in the UK an incredible £1.8 billion per year to manually pollinate their crops, which just further emphasises the importance of bees.
Aside from the critical role bees play in food and crop pollination globally, water is, as with all creatures, vital to the bees’ survival.
No matter your environment, you too can help create a bee friendly zone and provide safe access to water. As bees cannot swim, a shallow water container outside loaded with pebbles or corks on which the bee can perch and drink would be ideal.
The intelligence of bees is undisputed; they even have a code they share when they find a good source of food and water. Known as the ‘waggle dance’, it’s a clever way of communicating between themselves to tell their nest mates where to go to find the best source of food and water. It took the researchers at Sussex University two years to decode the waggle dance.
Now you have this information on board, you can do your bit to create a hydration station for these furry, striped, winged miracle workers and look after yourselves by making sure you replenish your drinking water often at your water cooler station.