Sunday, May 24, 2009

Counting Bees

Have you ever tried counting bees? Not an easy job as they move from plant to plant. However somebody from Birmingham University is trying to count them in Birmingham and has included our allotments.

It a good job that we have still some left to count. In a recent pamphlet written by Jonathon Porritt he says “As regards pollination, scientist have estimated that if we had to do by hand what is currently done for us free by bees, bugs, birds and bats, the annual cost would be well in excess of half a trillion dollars. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? But in the province of Szechuan in China, that is exactly what they are having to do right now. Having wiped out most of their beneficial insects through the over application of pesticides, they are now having to collect pollen by hand and apply it (using feather dusters) by hand to keep alive their hugely valuable orchards.

Here in this country our bees are struggling to survive. The numbers are falling rapidly but nobody knows why. Chemicals or a virus may be the problem. The Coop as a precautionary measure have eliminated pesticides from all their farms.

We must also remember that some bees do not only pollinate but produce that lovely golden colour runny honey. We used to keep bees and the jars and jars they produced for us were wonderful.

So next time you see bees around plants in your garden be thankful that they are doing the work not you.


  1. Interesting post, Duncan. Click on the 'Book of the week' link to see a relevant read.

  2. I recently wrote an article on bees for Birmingham Recycled ( where I came across organisation Help Save Bees. The article highlights a petition into more government funding into the preservation work.