Pandemic, Climate Change, we’re surrounded and hit by major threats to our existence on a daily basis by news channels, FaceBook, Twitter and every other social media application. But the one threat that we rarely hear anything about, but could have devastating consequences concerns the bee population.
We all see bees, plenty of them (or so we think) and there are in excess of 20,000 different species of bee identified in the World with an estimated real number being several times that.
So, what’s the threat? What’s the problem? The bee population is steadily reducing, bees are becoming every less common due to a range of factors (pesticides – neonicotinoids being a perfect example), but is this a problem?
Yes. Bees are the pollinators. Probably most of our farm crops, garden vegetables, flowers, trees, wild flowers are there because of bees. Along with hoverflies, butterflies (also disappearing at an alarming rate) they enable pollen to be transferred from the male anther of a flower to the female stigma so that the next generation of seed can be produced.
If bee numbers were to continue at the current rate of decline – what would provide the pollination for all the plants that we live off and enjoy, and form the basis of our – and our farmed animals foodstuff? Without these plants being pollinated, where would our food come from?
Difficult to even contemplate, even more difficult to do anything about but Transition Marlborough are doing their bit to raise awareness of this and help the bee population in and around this area. (Thus helping to ensure a regular supply of local honey!).
Transition Marlborough are running a project to distribute 800 packets of wildflower and bee-friendly seeds to encourage sowing this spring. Distribution will bee to every household in Mildenhall and Axford, a further 300+ via retailers and community groups in Marlborough and 200+ via community groups in Ramsbury.
In the villages each packets will be enough seed to sow one square metre of wildflower meadow including grasses. In Marlborough, a slightly different mix will serve 3 square metres of flowers only.
If every packet is sown, the project will create a mosaic of 1,000 square metres of wildflower and pollinator friendly plants across a mosaic linking our town and villages in a “Bee Road” (connecting to an established Transition Marlborough project and Buglife’s national B-lines project too)
Seeds have been generously supplied by Meadowmania’s Tim Evans in Marlborough and Meadow in My Garden’s Paul Jupp in Devizes.
Any seed packets that aren’t sown can be dropped at the plant table on the main road in Mildenhall for redistribution or passed on to neighbours who might be keen to grow them on. So let’s all get buzzy………