The honeybee is not only one of nature’s most beautiful and fascinating insects, but it’s the only insect on the planet that can produce food for us. Though, if honeybees were to cease existing, it’s not only their honey that we’d miss; without their pollination, we’d lose around a staggering 70 out of 100 crop species that feed 90% of the population (source).
The decline of the honeybee poses a detrimental threat to our ecosystem, and is unsurprisingly a pressing concern for scientists. From their research, The University of Reading has discovered that the honeybee population has fallen by 50% in the UK over the last 20 years – with mites, pesticides and climate change being contributing factors. The big question is, what is the future of the honeybee, and what can we do to help them?
Renewable energy investor, Low Carbon has teamed together with Plan Bee Ltd to take matters into their own hands. In Low Carbon’s solar parks in Suffolk, Devon and Cornwall, managed beehives are home to an impressive 2 million bees. These locations are bursting with wildflowers, making the perfect environment for the bees to thrive, and supporting greater biodiversity.
Low Carbon is also trialling innovative remote monitoring systems which cleverly watch over the bee colonies within, with brood temperature, humidity, hive weight and weather conditions being carefully measured. All of these parameters are taken into consideration in order to effectively look after the hives and to help the bees to thrive. Some of the honey produced by the bees is harvested to successfully help create awareness and support the cause.
Quentin Scott, Low Carbon’s Marketing Director, states: “We are committed to protecting local habitats and ecosystems on our solar farms. Encouraging biodiversity should not be a bolt on for renewable energy companies, but rather a core responsibility. Protecting bees, insects and other species is a crucial part in the fight against climate change and we look forward to continuing our work with Plan Bee in the future.” (Source)
Individuals and businesses, big and small, are all working to help protect the population of this important species.
Here are some simple actions you can take to help save the honeybee:
- Install beehives
- Plant wildflowers and other bee-friendly plants
- Plant a mix of bee-friendly fruit and veg
- Grow plants and veg from seed
- Let your grass grow for shelter
- Use peat-free compost
- Welcome other beneficial insects into your garden
- Don’t use pesticides
Low Carbon see the encouragement of biodiversity as a core responsibility for all of us, and the protection of bees as a crucial part in the fight against climate change.