I'm very fond of bees, which is quite surprising really as I tend to hate all kinds of creepy crawlies and flying insects however bees have a purpose and a very important one at that, which makes me love them. So much so that I try and entice them into my garden by leaving wildflowers to grow and have even given up a little bit of my field to a local man who now keeps his hives on my field in exchange for a pot of honey.
When Neal's Yard Remedies got in contact with me about their current campaign to have the use of powerful pesticides (neonictinoids or neonics) banned in the UK there was no way I couldn't get involved, especially when the MP that the campaign is approaching is my own local MP, Caroline Spelman - the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
There is a proverb: No Bees, No Honey, No Work, No Money. Apparently experts have warned that honeybees could disappear entirely from Britain by 2018 and without bees and wild pollinators, agriculture as we know it would collapse. Did you know that they are responsibly for pollinating 84% of EU crops? It would devastate our eco-system.
Many causes have been attributed to the decline of our bees but the fact is that these pesticides are poisoning our bees and the loss of our wild flowers is starving them to death. Neonictinoids are 7,000 times more toxic than DDT which was banned in Britain in 1984 however at present, British governmental policy is not to ban an ingredient or chemical until it has been proven harmful to health. Since World War II Britain has lost 3 million hectares of wild flowers. The remaining 100,000 hectares continue to diminish.
How can we help? There are many ways. We can help by buying organic or pesticide-free product whenever possible. Plant bee-friendly herbs and wild flowers in any spare patch of ground (I've already given a bit of space up at home to make a wild flower patch to entice bees to help pollinate my fruit trees). Give a bee a home - provide simple boxes for wild bees to live in. Buy chemical free, unfiltered honey from local beekeepers or become a beekeeper yourself.
Please consider signing the petition. When it gets to 100,000 signatures it will be taken to Downing Street. You can sign it in person at Neal's Yard Remedies stores nationwide, or perhaps the quickest and easiest way to sign the petition is by going to the Neal's Yard Remedies Facebook Page.
I've signed the petition myself and will be passing it on to all my friends and family, I hope you will consider doing the same as the decline of bees in the UK will affect us all! If you want to know any more information our our bees, the campaign or even which herbs and flowers are bee-friendly then please drop me a line. I'll be happy to help where I can!
Disclaimer: I was sent some Neal's Yard Remedies Bee Lovely Hand Cream as a thank you for supporting their campaign, however it is a campaign I choose to support wholeheartedly.