There's no denying it, over the past few years little old bees have become big news.
According to Friends of the Earth, since 1900, "the UK has lost 13 species of bee, and a further 35 are considered under threat of extinction. None are protected by law. Across Europe nearly 1 in 10 wild bee species face extinction."
We're big nature lovers at Tovi Sorga, and we've created our Bee Key Ring to help raise urgent funds to keep bees protected - 5% of every handcrafted leather key ring you purchase is donated to Friends of the Earth's Bee Cause.
Every one of us can do our bit to help bees survive for future generations by making a few simple changes to our surroundings.
Here are a few tips and tricks to help protect our bees.
1) Go chemical-free!
The intensification of farming is the biggest single cause of declining bee populations, a combination of the loss of natural pastures and wildflowers made worse by the increased use of pesticides. Neonicotinoids, in particular, impact negatively on the immune system of bees, and make them more susceptible to diseases and parasites.
There’s no better way to ensure you’re doing your part for the betterment of bee-kind than to give up synthetic pesticides. Choose organic food when you shop. And if you're nourishing your own plants, go for the organic options on the market, which can be just as beneficial to your garden.
Create a diverse eco-system using natural soil solutions and add beneficial bugs that keep leaf-eating pests far away from your crop.
2) Create a Bee Garden
Bee gardens are a fantastic way to join the rebellion against the extinction of bees - not to mention making a beautiful addition to anyone’s backyard.
The buzz of happy bees as they set to work is the sign of a healthy and productive eco-system. By planting a bee garden, and deciding to create a safe environment for bees to flourish, you will save thousands of these powerful little creatures around the world!
You don't have to become the next Monty Don to grow a bee garden. Window boxes, flower pots, or planters filled with seasonal, flowering plants all help to provide a safe haven for a passing bee.
And if you don't even have a spare windowsill? Not a problem! Get in touch with local organisations and governments to find opportunities to add a touch of bee loving colour to shared neighbourhood spaces. Or better still, get Gorilla Gardening and sprinkle a few packs of wildflower seeds in your urban local wastelands.
3) Plant a Tree
One of the biggest natural allies of Bees (and humans) is trees. Not only are they an essential feeding ground, but also the perfect habitat for them. Flowering trees provide an amazing number of flowers for bees within a relatively small area, so that bees are able to forage without having to fly tiring long distances. And of course, the bees are helping the trees too with that all important pollination.
Make sure to take extra care of your oxygen giving shrubs. With deforestation and development quickly rising there has never been a more important time to nurture the nature around us. And there’s always going to be a tree planting party in your local area looking for volunteers if you want to get involved.
4) Help Hydrate the Bees with a Bee Bath
And let’s not forget, our personal favourite, making your own Bee Bath. Bees work up a hell of a sweat on the job. Sometimes, they get so exhausted they can barely make it back to the hive. To help them on their pollen hunting quests, fill a bird bowl with water and arrange pebbles and stones inside so that they break the water’s surface. The bees will be very grateful for the H20 top up, and won’t be too exhausted to fly home to their family.
If you have friends and family who are bee lovers too, remember that when you gift them our bee key rings as a gift, we'll also give a little extra for you - with 5% of your purchase going directly to Friends of the Earth.