Do you know what a “Bee Road” is? It’s a wild flower planting on farms to attract & protect Bees. I’ve started my own “Bee Road” sowing a wild flower strip of about 40metres x 10m along a roadside on a pasture based dairy farm. https://www.cotswoldseeds.com/seedmix/wild-flowers-1 It was sown this spring & is now in glorious techno colour. The bees & insects love it but there have been some problems like the dry weather & weed infestation. I am justly proud of my efforts but there are frustrations.
The roadside mowing routine shows that local authorities have no understanding, nor any real commitment to protecting the English biodiversity & specifically the humble but incredible important honey bees. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/8306970/Einstein-was-right-honey-bee-collapse-threatens-global-food-security.html
Almost a third of global farm output depends on animal pollination, largely by honey bees. These foods provide 35pc of our calories, most of our minerals, vitamins, and anti-oxidants, and the foundations of gastronomy. Yet the bees are dying – or being killed – at a disturbing pace.
Bees are incredibly important to agriculture including pasture based dairy farms. Yet as I walk pastures day after day in the UK I see virtually no Honey bees & relatively few Bumble bees. Honestly when did you last see Honey Bees on your pastures?
250km of roadside in France with wild flowers to attract & protect the bees. This is likely to be extended over much of France with perhaps 12,000km of roadside being planted to help the Honey Bees. What an amazing plan!
"The Cooperative" Supermarket Group in the UK has taken a number of initiatives to save bees to the UK. This includes donating £750,000 for “Bee Roads”…wild flower plantings on roadsides in the UK. Good positive assistance by a supermarket retailer.
The Telegraph newspaper is to be congratulated on its “Save the Bees” campaign.
The evidence is that sadly the biodiversity in the English countryside is not what it used to be…. & this is affecting the bee population on which agriculture & food production is so reliant. You only need to look at the roadside hedges in the English countryside…they are lovely & green but often without flowers…especially if the Council has mown it. (Why don’t they put their efforts & man power into fixing the pot holes instead of vandalising the bee habitats with a tractor mower?)
See briefings 1295 about the National Ecosystems Assessment for the UK.
Pasture based Dairy farmers need to take a public stand & be vocal about their support for saving the bees & for increasing the biodiversity on farms. We are already leading the way but we need to speak up & be heard. We have plenty of opportunities to plant either roadside “Bee Roads”, keep bee hives on the farms or help stop local authority vandals from mowing the wild flowers when it is totally unnecessary.
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