Help The Bees
By Bee-ing The Change You Wish To See In The World

Coastal Leafcutter Bee - Megachile maritima - female - foraging on restharrow.Coastal Leafcutter Bee - Megachile maritima - female - foraging on restharrow.

We can all do our bit to help the bees. (And here, I’m talking about all types of bees, including those unsung heroes of the pollinating world: solitary and bumblebees, as well as honey bees).

Helping bees starts with awareness. Of course, we instinctively know what’s good for bees and what is not.

A large part of this website highlights how the two issues above are causing problems for bees (and indeed, other pollinators – in fact, invertebrates generally).

Habitat decline is worrying, and is being lost to development, farming and land management practice, and even gardening trends.

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The use of pesticides is of real concern. They are not only used on farmland to grow crops, they are also used (sometimes preventatively – how crazy is that?) on lawns, golf courses, and may be present within commercially grown pot plants you buy from the garden centre.

They are used by some horticulturalists in the cultivation of bulbs, and in some countries it has even been possible to purchase compost that is laced with insecticide (vine weevil killer, for example). Then of course, there are the garden pesticides, and those spread by local councils.

However, if we really want change, then it starts with you and me.

Bumble bee foraging on poppy.Bumble bee foraging on poppy.

Gandhi said – ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’

I like to think of it in terms of bee-ing the change.......

Although I am a committed campaigner, these days, I’m focusing a lot more on the positive, practical steps people can take to help the bees – and highlighting the very fact that if we want to help the bees, it really is WE PEOPLE who have the power to create the change that will help them!

Why do I say this? 

Honey bee Apis mellifera on solidago (golden rod).Honey bee Apis mellifera on solidago (golden rod).

I have corresponded with government and regulatory bodies for some time now. What do I get?:

  • An apparent inability to answer very crucial questions directly. Instead, they talk around the subject. It’s a bit like asking “What is 2+2?”, and instead of answering ‘4’, they ramble on about how 2 is a number, and '+' is a mathematical symbol…..

  • It is astonishing to me that regulatory bodies seem ABSOLUTELY DETERMINED to bat away independent evidence on pesticides – whilst at the same time, being apparently unable to prove that they can isolate and individually monitor the effects of these pesticides (such as neonicotinoids) – or that anyone is adequately doing so.

So as far as I’m concerned, by the time they act,  if we wait around, it will be TOO LATE

and anyway, the government lost my confidence on environmental and wildlife issues years ago, even before they failed to explain to me how they can allow banks to privatise profit, and nationalise debt!

But enough of that.

How can YOU help the bees?

Helping bees is not rocket science.  You can start with these top 10 tips to help the bees.  Collectively, I think we spice them up with real commitment, a big difference can be made.


If possible, grow your own organic produce (it's cheap and easy). If you haven't got around to this (and believe me, some produce can be grown in pots on a balcony), then buy organic, (in fact, I buy as much organic stuff as possible – not just edibles). Why?

Because with every non-organic purchase you make, a signal is sent to retailers, which is:

“People are buying this product, so I need to keep stocking it”.

I appreciate that some people are on limited budgets. I created some tips to save money, and make organic affordable on my page: Eating Organic.

Even if you only purchase 1 (yes, JUST ONE) organic item per week (and even if it’s off the ‘reduced’ shelf), collectively, we’ll make a difference! Collectively, retailers will notice the difference, and they will stock more products that are organic. As demand increases, production will become more efficient for farmers, which will help prices.

    In any event, if we keep losing pollinators, we are in serious danger of increasing food prices – on top of all the other pressures on the cost of food.

If you don’t believe me when I say that your purchase makes a difference, let me tell you: retailers even notice how many sprouts people buy at Christmas – so they make sure they have some every year! Sprouts are of course, just one item. No, I don’t mean you need to buy more sprouts! I mean quite simply that our purchases are VERY POWERFUL.

Bumble bee pollinating raspberry flowers.Bumble bee pollinating raspberry flowers.


- and you are contributing to a vote that promotes the wider practices of society.

The way you garden can also help bees, by providing food and suitable nest habitats. There are many beautiful plants for bees, but note, I am also careful about the plants I buy and put into my garden. Organic suppliers are few and far between, and so I have taken to swapping with trusted friends and family, and have found that some members of gardening clubs take in their unwanted plants to give away free to other members. I have a page on saving money and ensuring you get free plants for your garden. As for bulbs, see the tips on buying bulbs on the page Bulbs For Bees.

So it’s not rocket science! We can all do our bit to help the bees. It starts with you, and it starts with me!

Pesticide Study Outlines
Go from 'Help The Bees' to these outlines of just a few of the independent studies into the effects of neonicotinoids on bees.

Bee Garden Basics
Go from 'Help The Bees' to further information about how to create a bee garden.

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