Betteshanger’s buzzing this World Bee Day: Why are bees so important?

Our tiniest Park visitors need your help this World Bee Day. Our little, buzzing friends carry a big responsibility – and it’s our job to make it easier for them. After all, bees are an essential work force in making our food and keeping our Park looking beautiful.

What have the bees ever done for us?

Bees are pretty incredible. They work tirelessly to pollinate plants and flowers and help our farmers grow food to feed the nation. They do all this, day in and day out, with no expectation of a pay check.

“Through the pollination of many commercial crops such as tomatoes, peas, apples and strawberries, insects are estimated to contribute over £600 million per annum to the UK economy.” – Lauren Kennedy, Bumblebee Conservation Trust

Without the help of the bees, not only would we struggle to pollinate crops and maintain our food supply, we’d also lose many of the beautiful plants and flowers that make our world a brighter place.

Why are bees in danger?

It’s a topic of global discussion – what is the cause of our declining bee population? We believe that the fault lies with not one, but many contributing factors.

Scientists believe that climate change plays a big part in declining numbers, as unusual weather can confuse bees, causing them to emerge from their nests too early. Flowers might not yet have bloomed, leaving the bees without a food supply.

In addition, ‘since the Second World War, we’ve lost 97% of our wildflower meadows’ which is making life very difficult for bees, as this means less foraging spaces. With the destruction of their habitat, bees have less safe spaces to shelter.

It’s a difficult time to be a bee – so we need to do our very best to help them fulfil their crucial job.

Kent’s buzzing with bee activity…

Of the 24 species of bumblebee in the UK, 8 of these are classed as rare, with numbers declining due to lack of habitat. But we’re buzzing with bee activity in Kent.

Kent is a very special place for bumblebees, with 22 of the 24 UK species present. This makes Kent the best county in the UK for bumblebee diversity. This includes one of the UK’s rarest bumblebees, the Shrill carder bumblebee.

Planting for bumblebees in your gardens can make a huge difference and provide that much needed food source.” – Lauren Kennedy, Bumblebee Conservation Trust

How can we help the bees?

We think it’s about time we show our buzzing workforce some appreciation. Here are a few suggestions in how you can make small changes that will help bees in a big way.

  1. Show a little love by letting your dandelions and other wild flowers keep on growing. Plus, it’s a great excuse to not weed your garden – you’re doing it for the bees after all!
  2. If a bee gets stuck in your home or office, don’t panic and reach for the newspaper. Be brave and help the bee find an open window.
  3. If you see a very tired looking bee, put a few drops of sugar water beside it. You might just give our little worker that extra energy boost that will help it reach the nest again. Find out how here.
  4. If you don’t have a garden, plant flowers in a window box. It will brighten up your home, and give bees a safe, sunny space to rest and gather nectar. Visit Bumblebee Conservation Trust to find out if your garden is bee-friendly.