Any gardener worth their salt knows the importance of bees, and there’s something heartening about seeing them buzzing around the garden helping flowers and plants pollinate far and wide.
However, you might not be seeing quite as many bees around these days, and that’s because bee population is in decline. It’s been an issue for some years now, and worryingly a number of species of bee have declined by up to 30% in the UK – there are multiple other worrying stats and figures that show just how far the bee population has fallen around the world.
And that’s a big problem, especially considering a good portion of our fruit and veg relies on pollination done by bees, which in turn affects a significant amount of a country’s imports and exports – it goes much further than just honey.
One of the reasons for this decline has been linked to pesticides, and in particular a type of pesticide called neonics, or neonicotinoids to give them their full name. Neonics have been shown to have severe effects on bees’ foraging behaviour, homing ability, breeding, immune system, and more, eventually leading to their death.
Neonics are sprayed onto crops or seeds in order to deter pests, but as the bees go about their business collecting pollen, they’re affected by the chemicals. These pesticides are also used to treat pot plants and turf – they’re pretty widely used. Even many plants sold as ‘bee-friendly’ in garden centres have been shown to contain neonics.
The following //cdn.thinglink.me/jse/embed.js“>infographic from Sun Leisure gives much more information about the use of neonics, why they’re so bad for bees and the general environment, and some eco-friendly alternatives.
Thanks for reading.