Crown have recently adopted 30,000 honey bees to help sustain their numbers to preserve wildlife and to highlight their important role in our ecosystem.
Bee numbers have decreased dramatically over the years. They are vital to ensure plants get pollinated and our crops produce the food we need to eat. And so, they contribute a huge amount to our economy. In 2007, the National Audit Office collated research which showed that bees contributed around £200m to the UK economy (free of charge), and the retail value of that contribution was closer to £1bn. Add inflation, and you can see that we need bees, in these cash strapped times, more than ever.
Sadly, over the years, we have not been as respectful of bees as we should have been. So much so that experts now predict that honeybees could disappear from Britain entirely by 2018, unless we take action now.
The main causes of dwindling bee populations are:
- mass farming: 97% of Britain’s flower-rich grasslands (which bees love) have been destroyed over the past 70 years to make way for vast one-crop fields (which bees hate)
- pesticides: use of chemicals on large swathes of farmland is now being proved to cause memory loss and death in bees, and beekeepers in the US are taking the Environmental Protection Agency to court on the matter
- disease: global shipping routes have brought the deadly varroa mite to the UK from Asia, a parasite that feeds off and kills the bees
We therefore need to do all we can to help bees thrive again.
Our adoption comes by way of Barnes and Webb.
For more information on community initiatives, visit The Honey Club.