It is almost universally accepted now that the decline in the numbers of bees is of great concern to humanity as a whole. Loss of habitat, use of pesticides, climate change … there are many reasons for the decline in bees, and we should most certainly be worried – not just for the bees, but for ourselves. Some sources estimate that as many as 1 in 3 mouthfuls of the food we eat is reliant to some degree on bees and their pollination, and – whether or not Einstein actually uttered this warning, as he is reputed to have done – it is feared that if bees do disappear, then humans risk dying out within the following few years. As the hidden workers of the plant procreation world, bees are far more important than we have perhaps recognised until recently.
I rescued our first bee the other day, and it was surprisingly simple; I thank an old school friend for showing us how. If you come across a bee which is perhaps not moving, or is rather bedraggled, then pick it up gently by sliding it on to your hand, using a leaf if necessary. Once on your palm it will probably flatten itself out so as to pick up the warmth from your skin. Keep it dry and safe; offer it sugar water (not honey) if you are able to, and protect it until it is ready to fly away. It is quite astonishing to see these majestic insects revive and fly away, when 10 or 20 minutes before they were still or struggling.
As humans, we have a responsibility to look after this planet, and it should be no cause for surprise that if we look after other elements upon and within it, they in turn will look after us. If we care for the bees, they will continue to pollinate the plants we and other animals need to survive.
Every day, we can do something to help our immediate environment, and our short and long term future. It is our duty and our responsibility, and we – and the world – will reap the rewards.
Help a bee today.