Bees are in serious trouble…

Over the last 50 years, there has been a staggering decline in our bee population.

Habitat loss, intensive agriculture and the widespread use of harmful pesticides have all contributed to this crash in numbers.

With 97% of Britain’s wildflower-rich meadows having disappeared since the Second World War, our bees and other pollinators are in a desperate situation and need our help more than ever before.

 


One in every three
bites of food we eat
depends on bees…


Why are bees important?

As well as being widely loved, bees play a vital role in the natural world as pollinators. In addition to pollinating wildflowers and trees, bees and other insects help to pollinate our crops, and of course they do this free of charge!

It has been estimated that this pollination service could add £600 million of value to the UK’s crops every year, and that a third of the food we eat relies on bees for pollination. Without them, the cost of our food would undoubtedly rise, so bees are important to every single one of us.


Bumblebees were voted
the UK’s favourite
insect in 2015


What is the Scottish Wildlife Trust doing to help bees?

At the Scottish Wildlife Trust, we love bees and are working hard to save them.

As well as managing our network of 120 wildlife reserves in a way that allows wildlife of all kinds to thrive, we are actively involved with several projects to help give a boost to bees and other pollinators:

  • As part of the Edinburgh Living Landscape, our Pollinator Pledge campaign is encouraging residents to use their gardens to help create a network of pollinator-friendly habitat across the city.
  • We have been leading on the delivery of the Irvine to Girvan Nectar Network, which has seen the creation of large areas of pollinator-friendly habitat along the Ayrshire coast.
  • We were one of 11 organisations involved with Save Our Magnificent Meadows, the UK’s largest partnership project to transform the fortunes of our vanishing wildflower meadows which are critical habitat for bees.
  • We successfully campaigned for an EU-wide ban of three harmful neonicotinoid pesticides.

Did you know…

Over 100 species
of bee have been
recorded in Scotland!


How to help bees

Join the Scottish Wildlife Trust

Becoming a member of the Trust means that you’ll be helping to support the work we do to conserve bees and other pollinators in Scotland. You’ll also gain free entry to our visitor centres, be sent our wildlife magazine and receive invitations and discounts to events across the country.

Let your garden grow wild

What we might think of as weeds may be fantastic food plants for bees. For example dandelions and foxgloves are an excellent  source of pollen and nectar. Leaving a corner of your garden to grow wild is an easy way to help our precious pollinators!

Avoid using pesticides

Neonicotinoids now banned from commercial use in the EU are still present in some insecticides sold by garden centres. Trying to encourage natural pest control such as ladybirds is far better than using any pesticide, but if you still require one be sure to check the ingredients before buying.

Build a bee and bug hotel

Many bee species are solitary and make their nests in small holes and the hollows of plants and trees. Building a bee hotel is easy, fun and a brilliant way to provide bees and other insects with a safe place to rest and lay their eggs.

Plant for pollinators

Planting flowers and trees that produce blossom at different times of the year will mean that bees have a source of food throughout the seasons. Many garden centres will label ‘bee-friendly’ plants, but for a list of good species, click the link below.

Offer pollinators a drink

Bees and other pollinators can get thirsty! A wildlife pond is perfect and provides far more to wildlife than just a place to quench thirst, but if that’s not possible, a small dish of water with a few pebbles in it (for ease of access) will give bees and other insects a chance to drink.

Stay up to date with the Scottish Wildlife Trust by subscribing to our mailing list 

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