Why There is Such a “Buzz” Around Honeybees
Decades ago, honeybees were considered a menace to society, only good for stinging us while enjoying the spring and summer months. Fast forward to the 2000s and honeybees are now a hot topic for discussion for all reasons from food to fashion to population conservation. While we once banished them from our homes we now welcome them into our gardens, even planting bee friendly flowers in order to enjoy the fruits of their labor with beautiful blooms and bountiful crops.
While it seems that bees have never been more popular, they are also facing difficult times. Bees are responsible for pollinating a large part of our ecosystem and are also held accountable for pollinating almost one third of all the crops we consume. Industrial farming has destroyed much of the wild areas that honeybees used to inhabit, contributing to a decrease in their populations across the United States and across the world. In fact, United Kingdom bee populations are down by one third since 2007.
The bee’s important role of transferring pollen from one plant to the next leads to fertilization, which is vital to the growth of many plants. Without the honeybee, plants like beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, and strawberries could no longer exist or become very expensive due to costly artificial fertilization. With the importance of honeybees becoming more prevalent, more and more individuals and industry are taking note of their plight and working hard to support the sustainability and growth of the bee population.
Many people are becoming hobbyist beekeepers in an attempt to not only quell their boredom but also support bee population growth. “It’s how I let go of stress,” said a recent enthusiast during an interview with DailyMail.co.uk. The individual recently joined the Urban and Community Beekeeping Group in London which holds beekeeping courses and supports a beekeeping collective for individuals to share the work load as well as the bounty.
The co-founder of a British cosmetic line called Bee Good that uses ingredients sourced sustainably from British bees, Simon Cavill admits he regularly talks to his bee hives. “It’s a great stress-reliever, knowing they will keep my secrets and not talk back!” For those individuals who cannot beekeep themselves, the Royal Horticultural Society launched a campaign to encourage homeowners to grow plants that will help with honeybee sustainability by providing nectar and pollen the bees need in order to survive.