Stung into action….

If you’ve ever used the phrase “I am as busy as a bee” have you ever wondered how busy a bee can possibly be?
You can see a Bumble coming, wings a blur, making a silent approach. It zips by you and onto work.
Head down, doing its daily toil and then back to base to unload its precious liquid gold- nectar
It’s not an aggressor but a worker, only likely to sting you if you interrupt its schedule or be aggressive to it.
I am a fan but wary of anything that stings, having inadvertently disturbed the labours of a family of wasps on one occasion by strimming through a nest hidden in a bank.
As with most situations like this there is plenty of helpful advice. Don’t run but walk away. Human nature takes over and so does fight or flight. If you’ve got angry little fellas around your neck you don’t hang around. I ran (forgot my “what to do in a bee/wasp sting situation handbook) to my customers house. The upshot – my nurse customer beating me, with my shirt off with a fly swat, trying to remove the wasps. Picture that if her husband had walked in!
Busy chaps bees are and they play a significant part in our ecosystem and food production process as a super important pollinator. So important that it has been quoted that the human race would only survive a maximum of four years without their efforts.
The value of their services has been estimated at £200 million and their produce £1bn
If they vanished entirely imagine how many people with feather duster pollinators it would take to replace a hive of 55,000 bees that could pollinate half a million plants in one day. Not practical is it!
Unfortunately in recent years there has been a worrying and notable decline in their numbers and in some cases total loss of complete hives.
Scientists (those on the bees side) have pointed the finger in various directions including habitat destruction, weather change, contagious diseases and agriculturally applied insecticides.
A large digit is currently aimed at three insecticides (used mainly in crop seed protection) and the EU is currently proposing the banning of three such chemicals in an attempt reduce the decline in the bee population. Several countries have already done so and in the UK B&Q and Wickes have ceased sale of chemicals containing the insecticides.
You can help by encouraging them by enhancing their environment. Go bee friendly with your planting.