By observing World Bee Day each year, we can raise awareness on the essential role bees and other pollinators play in keeping people and the planet healthy, and on the many challenges they face today.
Have you noticed that spring is coming earlier, that plants are blooming at odd times, or that rains are more intense? If so, it’s likely you’re witnessing the first stages of climate change – and how we plan and manage our gardens will have to change. More and more scientists agree that we’re locked into a global temperature increase of 2 degrees Celsius, which is a number we’re told we can’t cross in order to maintain our planet’s equilibrium.
Your garden can make a significant difference in the fight against climate change. We can use trees, shrubs, and vines to shade our homes and reduce energy use while sequestering carbon from the air. The plants we choose can be composed largely of natives, which are genetically hardwired to tackle local weather extremes. And lawn-reducing planting beds that are thick and lush, just like we’d see in nature, make added contributions to minimizing carbon footprints while providing essential habitat for diverse wildlife.
Bees and other pollinators, such as butterflies, bats and hummingbirds, are increasingly under threat from human activities.
Pollinators allow many plants, including many food crops, to reproduce. Not only do pollinators contribute directly to food security, but they are key to conserving biodiversity – a cornerstone of the Sustainable Development Goals. They also serve as sentinels for emergent environmental risks, signaling the health of local ecosystems.
Invasive insects, pesticides, land-use change and monocropping practices may reduce available nutrients and pose threats to bee colonies.
To raise awareness of the importance of pollinators, the threats they face and their contribution to sustainable development, the UN designated 20 May as World Bee Day.
It’s not just your flowers that look amazing, but also many of the small creatures in your garden. Many of these achieve an extremely useful purpose, causing your plants to grow better. Let’s learn more about these beautiful and helpful insects.
“At this time of year, bumblebee queens are a familiar sight foraging on spring flowers. After spending the winter hibernating, they need to build up vital energy stores before laying their eggs. According to the largest study of its kind, access to flower-rich habitats from spring through to summer is key to the survival of successive generations of the bees.”
We have created a simple visual, based on this article, for you to know which wild and garden plants are particularly important to get bumblebees’ colonies started in the spring and seeing them survive through to be successful into the next generation. Check it out!