Did you know that 20th May 2018 is World Bee Day? As part of our Let It Bee campaign this spring here at Steff Jewellery we are focusing on doing our part to help save the bees! Bees are responsible for maintaining up to 75% of the produce we rely on, and they’re currently on the decline. This is due to several reasons including lack of green spaces, disease, irresponsible pesticide use and farming. However there are plenty of things we can all be doing to help prevent bees from dying out entirely.
If you are privileged enough to have a bit of space for a garden, making sure to factor in plants with bee friendly blooms is an easy way to make a massive positive impact. Not all plants bloom all year round, so it’s helpful to make sure you choose a variety of foliage to avoid any seasons of scarcity for the bees. Bees remain active for as long as they can, so the more time they have to pollinate flowers, the better. Without pollinators such as bees and butterflies, our plants (and therefore our food) would fail to grow. Also taking care to avoid using harmful chemicals and pesticides is vital; many common garden chemicals are toxic to bees. At times these chemicals may not be immediately fatal, however bees can become intoxicated and fail to find their way back to the hive.
The greatest ally to bees is likely to be your local beekeeper. Beekeepers work hard to care for and maintain hives, keeping an eye out for treatable diseases and parasites. You can support your local beekeepers by buying local honey, adopting a hive, or joining your local beekeeping association. Being a beekeeper is not necessary when joining an association and joining provides a fantastic opportunity to learn about our relationship to and dependence on these fascinating creatures.
If you are unable to source local honey and must buy it from a store, be sure to always check labels. Unfortunately, it’s common for store-bought honey to be diluted with other substances such as syrups and can be sourced from improperly kept hives. Learning where your food comes from can be another valuable tool; 100% organic produce is always more bee-friendly. Organic farming doesn’t use the pesticides that have been found to be harmful to pollinators.
To help promote the cause, and encourage us all to do a little bit for the bees we have created our very own Steff Wildflowers seed packets that will be given to our customers throughout the spring and summer. Each packet includes seeds for the flowers bees absolutely love: Lesser knapweed, birdsfoot trefoil, field scabious, and self heal. The first to bloom will be birdsfoot trefoil in May, followed closely by lesser knapweed and self heal in June and field scabious in July. These flowers should bloom until September, except for self heal which blooms until August, giving you approximately five months of beautiful, bee friendly flowers.
They are so easy to sow, simply scatter in a sunny spot in your garden, water in and let nature do the rest. So pop in and grab some seeds and lets get planting!