I was recently invited to the 'Magners Bee Aid' launch where we were given the chance to learn a little bit more about the plight of the British bee and how their extinction could affect us as a nation. You may have seen the ads on TV with Magners 'Beard of bees'?On arrival I was given a nifty little beekeepers outfits (modelled above!) which I donned along with my snazzy yellow marigolds and after a talk from the British Beekeepers Association we were invited to take part in a spot of beekeeping for ourselves over-looking London town.
Now admittedly the prospect of being stung by bees had virtually paralysed with fear for a while, but I knew this was something I wanted to get involved with somehow and learn a little more about. I was also reassured (many a time) that the bees wouldn't really have that much interest in me in all honesty, which was good enough for me. As the beekeeper withdrew the bees from their hive, I had a massive lump in my throat and was rather nervous. I must admit I did find the experience rather daunting and I sheepishly retreated to the safety of the indoors, 15 minutes before anyone else did. But at least I did it! I stood there whilst the little bees were buzzing around, doing there thing and I learned a lot about the structure of the hive and the importance of drones, worker and Queen bees. They have such a sophisticated and well-structured work ethic, it puts us humans to shame.So why on earth did I get involved in this? Well here is what you need to know;
- One third of all the food we eat would not be available if it wasn't for bees
- In the UK alone, 70 crops are dependent/benefit from visits from bees
- The UK value of the bee industry has been estimated at over £200 million per year
- 10% of all crops & 25% of all plant species are pollinated by bees
- Our violent farming practices continue to disturb the natural habitats and forage of solitary and bumblebees at a rate which gives little chance for survival or re-establishment of hives
You might think that none of this is relevant to you, but you'd be wrong. Without bees you can effectively kiss goodbye crops such as apples, pears and orchard fruits and the buck doesn't stop there because without pollination, crops that animals feed on that make things like cheese and dairy products, would no longer be possible. The effect would be devastating on a scale which we, in our daily hustle and bustle, are failing to comprehend nor fully appreciate.
Magners have created a 'Bee Aid' campaign with a very generous initiative that I'm hoping you will all participate in... For every time that anyone 'likes' the Magners page on Facebook, enters the Magners competition or downloads the Magners phone app, Magners will make a donation of 50 bees to the British Bee Keeping Association and Federation of Irish BeeKeepers, to help save 1.5 million urban bees over the next year. So please visit the Magners Facebook page and 'like' it as with enough 'likes' it could make such an amazing difference to the survival of bees and the survival of the crops we enjoy and very often, take forgranted. Thanks everyone.
For more information on the plight of the bees, visit: http://www.bbka.org.uk/about/corporate_members__sponsors/magners_cider