Wednesday 24 August 2016

It's not just about bees.....

Looking back through my blog posts and social media feeds, it is obvious that I write and talk a great deal about bees; their importance as pollinators; their beauty; the fascinating relationship they have with flowering plants; the differences between species; reasons for their decline (pesticides, habitat loss, climate change etc); and how we can help them survive.

Despite how it may appear on the surface though, these issues and the concerns they raise are neither as insular nor are they as 'bee-centric' as they seem. In fact, the issues affecting bees are simultaneously affecting all life on earth. Here are a few examples.....

1. At the same time that scientific advice and research supporting a call for a ban on neonicotinoid pesticides is often ignored or buried, information and research addressing myriad other issues is also ignored and buried. 

2. Pesticides (including insecticides, fungicides and herbicides) don't only harm bees. They harm other wildlife and, of course, human beings. They do this directly and indirectly.

3. Habitat loss and intensive agriculture do not just affect bees. They affect all other wildlife and are causing loss of biodiversity on a catastrophic scale.

4. As we continue to lose bee populations/species we will simultaneously continue to lose the plants rely upon them for pollination. This, in turn, will bring about the loss of more wild flowers, farmland birds, small mammals and, ultimately, the collapse of entire eco-systems.

5. Whilst multinational agrochemical corporations like Bayer & Syngenta continue to manufacture toxic bee killing chemicals like neonicotinoids, other equally powerful corporations like Monsanto, Dupont, BASF and Dow Chemical are manufacturing similarly toxic and damaging substances that are gradually poisoning our planet.

6. Climate change is already causing irreversible problems for some bee species…. but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Bees are just one of the many canaries in this particular mineshaft.

7. Disease & infection in bee populations (honeybees & wild bees) is symptomatic of what is happening on a wider scale with birds, bats, amphibians, human beings etc. etc.

So, it's not just about bees. But... planting flowers for pollinators, getting to know and recognise the bees and other insects in your garden, not using pesticides, signing petitions asking our government to listen to our views on the neonicotinoid issue etc.... are all part of a far bigger picture. Those of us who campaign to raise awareness of bee decline may appear to be focussed on just one single issue, but nothing works in isolation.

Everything is interconnected and if we get it right for bees, it follows that we will get it right for ALL life on earthLearning to fall in love with bees is just one of the many ways we can re-establish our relationship and connection with the wonderful world around us.
Vive les abeilles!


  1. More than a canary in the coalmine, the little furry life carriers. I have learned so much from your posts from across the pond. Carry on, dear Brigit.

    1. Thank you for reading Annie.... and thank you so much for your lovely kind comment x