A British conservation watchdog group is raising the alarm about the rate of the loss of bees, saying that all 250 bee species are in decline. To counter the decline, it has hatched the novel idea of urging ordinary Brits to keep bees where ever they can.
Any location would do, really. Rooftops, gardens, balconies. If there is a space, the group, Natural England, wants people to fill that space with a bee hive or two. The campaign, Bring Back the Buzz, promotes a new kind of man-made beehive called the Beehaus, which was launched today in England.
According to a 2009 publication The Health of Livestock and Honeybees in England, published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the decline in the health of honey bees in England is anticipated to the adversely affect the pollination of fruit and vegetable crops, which are worth £200 million pounds a year.
There has been a 10-15 per cent loss of honey bees in the past two years in Britain. Natural England's Chief Scientist Dr. Tom Tew stressed the importance of urban areas in bee keeping, saying "There's no reason why our towns and cities should exist as wildlife deserts - wildlife can thrive when we design our urban areas with nature in mind and the 'beehaus' is a great example of how easy it is for anyone to bring the natural world closer to their doorstep."
The Beehaus is not for the faint-of-heart, and is priced that way at a rather expensive £495. However, there is a 30-day money back refund, and the Beehaus is a new style of beehive, developed with bee experts. For the £495, the purchaser will receive everything needed for beekeeping, including a full protective suit -- but the bees must be ordered separately.
Natural England advises people considering taking up beekeeping to consult with experts on what care commitments are required first.