Bees in danger of becoming extinct in UK cities: how the public can help in their garden
Featured in, Kitchen Garden, Newbury Today, Gardening Etc. and Horticulture Weekly.
In the UK alone 35 species of bees are under threat of extinction. This is especially true in our urban areas, where every time a new building development is constructed on green space another habitat is irreversibly lost. One of the positive impacts of lockdown in the UK is that we’ve all looked to our gardens more and have reconnected with the nature on our doorsteps native to Britain, including British bees.
The more our cities harbour natural plant life, the better our urban bee populations will fare – so even if you’ve only got a small garden, a balcony, a patio or a tiny pot on the window ledge you can make a real difference. Bees are are prone to cooling, a sudden shower or cold wind can catch them off guard. They normally will crawl to cover to ‘wait out’ the hazard, returning to their task after a short rest.
Sean McMenemy, wildlife expert at Ark Wildlife, says “It is always better to wait than intervene. Bees often take a rest or break and an inactive bee does not mean it is in difficulty. If a bee remains in the same place for longer than 30-45 minutes, it is likely to need help. Honey, brown sugar and artificial sweeteners should be avoided and never offered to bees. Commercially available honey may carry pathogens that could infect bees if it were fed to them.”