The Bees Knees
At home when the sun shines there is a hum in the air. At first I am not conscious of the noise. But then I recognise the sound of insects busy at work. Bumble bees and dragonflies and damsel flies and hover flies, and fly flies and all sorts of insects I don't recognise, all so delicate and decorative, going about their work. Honey bees from the hives on the farm are also racing around. Our bees are made of sturdy stuff and last summer produced a lot more honey than any other hive nearby, despite the rain and being stuck in the middle of a pine forest clearance. There are a lot of foxgloves out this year, which bees love and perhaps that is what keeps them going.
Whilst everything remains idyllic at the farm, I keep reading about how bees are dying everywhere, they are disappearing and never reappearing (3 native species of bumble bee are now nationally extinct) http://www.bumblebeeconservationtrust.co.uk/bumblebees_in_crisis.htm and the native wild honey bee is also extinct. Honey bees are contracting diseases and dying and all bees are struggling against ever increasing uses of pesticides and reduced habitat space. Bees, who love warm sunny days, are probably also struggling with the confusing climate at the moment with hot sun turning quickly into monsoon type rains and cold nights in the middle of an otherwise hot summer. Bees are wonderful insects that should be conserved for the future. But for those less altruistic of you, bees are essential for our future food supplies. This recent news article from the US shows how we can't live without our buzzing friends.
Thanks to the Bumblebee Conservstion Trust for the photo. Look at their website to see how they are trying to save bees and how you can do your bit.