We recently read a rather alarming article in The Guardian talking about decline in the global insect population, including the impact on bees, and the domino effect this could have upon the world’s ecosystems. They are not a lone voice in the great bee debate as this story has been gathering pace over the last few years as the situation appears to becoming more acute.
According to Greenpeace’s dedicated bee website, since the 1990s beekeepers around the world have observed the mysterious disappearance of bees and unusually high rates of recession in honey bee colonies. This is significant because bees along with other insects are key to the pollination of crops. Without their help, the repercussions for food production could be devastating.
The Guardian reports that scientists agree it is becoming clear that insect losses are now a serious global problem and quote Prof. Dave Goulson from the University of Sussex as saying, “It should be of huge concern to all of us, for insects are at the heart of every food web, they pollinate the large majority of plant species, keep the soil healthy, recycle nutrients, control pests, and much more. Love them or loathe them, we humans cannot survive without insects.”
Here at Hitchin Lavender, we’re happy to declare our love for insects and are even happier to say that we are very much a favourite with them too. Honey bees in particular love the lavender fields because of the enormous quantity of nectar. We’re also popular with other wildlife, including butterflies, ladybirds, hares and birds such as skylarks, swallows and swifts. We like to think of our lavender rows as a haven for wildlife, which elsewhere faces many environmental challenges.
For the would-bee beekeeper…
We hope our commitment to ensuring a warm welcome for bees will be enhanced this year by the introduction of some bee hives on the farm. The hives will be installed and cared for by local bee expert, Andre Cardona, who also goes by the name of The Honey Bee Man. As well as nurturing our bees, Andre will be on hand to offer his expertise via a series of workshops which will offer practical and theoretical advice for beginner beekeepers. To find out more, please visit our workshop page for further information.
Introducing a new friendly face for our younger visitors…
As we’re so fond of bees, we decided to pay homage to our pollinator partners by creating a farm mascot in their honour. Now seems like a good opportunity to introduce you to this unique specimen – please meet, Barney-Bee. Look out for Barney-Bee and his bug pals in and around the farm this season.
Have a read of Damian Carrington’s article at The Guardian.