Why we need Bees

Imagine a picnic without bees…

Bees are critical to food supplies, 1\3 of the foods we eat are pollinated by bees – especially the good stuff (our “superfoods” rich in vitamins and nutrients).

If bees were extinct, we may lose all the plants that bees pollinate, all of the animals that eat those plants and so on up the food chain. Which means a world without bees could struggle to sustain the global human population of 7 billion. Our supermarkets would have half the amount of fruit and vegetables.

We are losing bees at an alarming rate. Possible reasons include the loss of flower meadows, the crab-like varroa mite that feasts on their blood, climate change, and use of pesticides.

Here is how your picnic would look without bees Download

These plants attract butterflies

A buttery garden is an area for butteries to feed and thrive. A proper buttery garden can accommodate a variety of buttery species at each stage of their life cycles: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Butteries are most active from spring to late summer when plant growth is at its peak. Gardening for butteries connects you to nature in spectacular ways while giving you a garden that will surprise you year-round.

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Kid’s Activity Sheets – Bees as pollinators

Honeybees are social insects that live in hives. A hive is a house, a place where bees live. It is a structure, in nature or man-made, that a colony calls home. The colony is the family unit consisting of a mother bee (Queen), together with lots of daughters (worker bees) and for a few months of the year – sons (drones). Bees undergo complete metamorphosis. The queen lays an egg in a cell in the wax comb (all the immature bees are called the brood). The egg hatches into a worm-like larva, which eventually pupates into an adult bee. Every bee has a job to do: The cleaners use their antennae to help the clean the cells. The nurse bees feed the young larva a mixture of honey and pollen and make royal jelly. Builders make the honeycomb cells. The attendant cleans and feeds the queen. The packers store the pollen. Guard bees look out for any intruders and sting them. Scouts look for nectar.

Click here to download some kids activity sheets for your children:

Bees Activity sheets

Plant list for attracting Bees

TIPS FOR ATTRACTING BEES:

Bees are more attracted to yellow, white and the blue-purple range . Fragrant flowers . Plants with a long flowering season to assure a continuous food supply . Early spring flowers after a long hungry winter . Select single flower heads. Double headed flowers look showy but produce much less nectar and make it more difficult to access pollen . Avoid highly hybridised plants which have been bred not to seed and thus produce very little pollen . Choose different types of flowers to ensure blooms through as many seasons as possible . Provide fresh water . Don’t use pesticides . Plant indigenous plants . Plant flowers in clumps . Plant where bees will visit- sunny spots and sheltered from strong winds

Interested in reading more? Our full article is available for download.

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