1 Jul 2009
Letter to Coop re making a bee house
The Coop is to be applauded for it's 'Plan Bee' which includes research and banning eight pesticides on it's own-brand produce (The Coop Magazine Summer 2009). It is indeed time for urgent research as to why a third of UK bee hives have been lost in the last couple of years. Without bees many fruits and vegetables would become scarce and prohibitively expensive.
The honeybee is an incredibly important pollinator, but we should also remember there are more than 20,000 species of bee in the world - more than all the mammals and birds combined. Most of these live solitary lives. In the UK we have over 200 species and it seems most are facing serious challenges from destroyed habitats, changed land-use patterns, tidy and concreted gardens, changing weather patterns and the use of pesticides and other chemicals.
We can all do our bit to reduce pesticide use and grow bee-friendly plants, however I would also urge people to make a bee house. This house in the photo, I made from a log drilled with holes ranging from 4 to 10mm. The holes are sawdust and splinter free and it is in full sun at least a metre off the ground with a piece of old metal on top to deflect the rain. In October some recommend taking it into a cool dry place then bringing it out early April.
See previous blogs on this here. More info from: www.theglobalbeeproject.com
where there is now even a slot about the Ruscombe Bee Project - a little grand the title but I hope to encourage others to also make some houses. And excellent article at: http://www.foxleas.com/bee_house.htm