Friends of the Bees

Together, we can make Britain a better place for pollinators!

- by discouraging the use of 'pesticides'
- by creating more pollinator-friendly habitat
- by planting and encouraging native, flowering plants
- by encouraging beekeepers to adopt more 'nature-friendly' methods
- by promoting the nurturance of native bees and discouraging imports

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How you can help bees and other pollinators

One of our concerns is that the recent rapid increase in the number of beekeepers in the UK may be having a negative impact on wild bees, many of which share the same species of flowering plants as honeybees.

This study shows that this is a valid concern, so we have some suggestions for beekeepers - both actual and potential - to help redress the balance.

  1. If you are only interested in having bees in your garden for pollination purposes, then consider making habitat and planting flowers mainly for bumblebees and solitary bees, rather than keeping honeybees.

  2. If you do decide that you want to keep honeybees, consider the more natural approaches, rather than starting a "honey factory" aimed mainly at productivity.

  3. If you keep honeybees, choose native bees rather than imports.

  4. If you have multiple hives, don't keep them all in one place and risk overloading an area with tens of thousands of extra honeybees, which may put at risk some of the wild bee species nearby.

  5. For every hive, or in every apiary, leave some areas wild to create habitat for other species.

For farmers, growers, gardeners and non-beekeepers:

  1. Plant native, nectar and pollen-yielding flowering plants wherever you can

  2. Avoid the use of insecticides if possible - there are often non-toxic alternatives

  3. Check with suppliers to ensure that compost on imported plants has not been contaminated with neonicotinoids

  4. Follow Organic practices wherever possible

  5. Leave some land un-managed to provide habitat for indigenous species