Bumble Bees need help to overcome disease

The effect of chemicals in the environment are undermining bumble bee immunity.
The effect of chemicals in the environment are undermining bumble bee immunity.

Solitary Bees like the Bumble Bee are now under attack from the same pathogens and diseases as  the Honey bees .This is not just a bumble bee disease. The diseases have jumped species from the honey bees, but not because they are more virulent but because the their natural resistance to these bugs has been reduced. This is possibly from the relatively new types of nicotine based pesticides called Neonicotinoids that may be undermining their immune systems. Although it is claimed they are ‘bee friendly’ they affect the pollen that the bees depend upon. There is are too many coincidences linking these chemicals with the problems that all bees have now and so the EU has banned them for use in agriculture. Bayer and Syngenta are two of the major manufactures of these substances and are trying to overturn an EU ruling.  But waiting for some unbiased research to produce some definitive answers to whether they are or are not harmful is not an option. It will be too late.

As  a first resort they must be banned and it is essential at every opportunity to object against these chemicals so go here to get a fuller picture and sign this petiton: http://action.sumofus.org/a/bayer-bees-lawsuit/13/2/?akid=3991.3971231.uIN3Lk&rd=1&sub=fwd&t=3.

And secondly as gardeners we need to provide a chemical free zones and habitats that these bees are safe in.

Just last month, 37 million bees were discovered dead on a single Canadian farm. And unless we act now, the bees will keep dying.

Wildlife World gives 5 good reasons for installing a Solitary Bee House in your garden.

Norman Sellers, founder and designer for Wildlife World products, talks about the importance of encouraging solitary bees into the garden. Recently the plight of the honey bees has being having a lot of press in recent times, but many of the 250 species of solitary bee are under even more threat. 35% of our diet is dependent on the pollination by bees and that the presence of bees in an orchard and increase the yield by up to 50% but for your average domestic garden swarms of honeybees are not an option. However:

  • Solitary bees are safe around children since they are very unaggressive or do not have a viable sting.
  • They are still efficient pollinators and tend to be active much earlier in the cooler periods of spring and right through to late autumn helping fertilize both late and early flowering crops.
  • They are easy to attract and just need the right housing facilities placed facing southeast or south to catch the early morning sun.
  • Having a bee house in the garden is fascinating for adults and children and they allow a close up study of the life-cycle of these friendly insects.
  • Bee houses are low cost and extremely low maintenance compared to the traditional beehive.
A bee hotel. If you cant afford it you could make one with bamboo or biro casings
A bee hotel. If you cant afford it you could make one with bamboo or biro casings

Wildworld has launched a range 3 small biomes: one for Butterflies, another for Bird and the Bug and Bee Biome. The latter comes with a FREE pack of wildflower seed plus a FREE bee guide. Manufactured from durable natural FSC timber, this attractive insect habitat looks good in any garden and provides a purpose built habitat for a wide range of insects like solitary bees that will pollinate plants and flowers plus some like ladybirds and lacewings that will prey on garden pests like aphids. The Bee & Bug Biome is supplied in a colorful gift pack and makes the perfect gift for gardeners and nature-lovers alike.

Go to www.wildlifeworld.co.uk to see what other amazing products they do that includes nestboxes with built in wildlife cameras and ‘tower blocks’ to support a multiple variety of insects at any one time.