When people think of bees they may not be aware just how many different species of bee there are, and many will only think of them living in large groups inside hives. In fact, there are over 20,000 different species of bee in the world – 267 in the UK alone – and 90% of these are not social and do not live in colonies. These are called solitary bees, they are incredibly important, and they need our help.
(c) Josh Forwood 2021
Pollinators such as bees and other insects allow plants to reproduce, which is essential for providing food and habitat for many other living things. Bees and other pollinators support many ecosystems. Without bees we’d be in BIG trouble.
A healthy bee population is a good sign that nature is doing well. Conversely when bees are struggling or in decline this is a likely indicator that the natural world is struggling more generally.
The health of our natural ecosystems is fundamentally linked to the health of our bees and other pollinators.
Due to pesticides, habitat loss and other factors, bee numbers are falling across the world. Two species of bumblebee are already thought to be extinct. The soil association notes that organic farming can improve the numbers of bees found in habitats surrounding a farm, with there being around 75% more bees on organic farms.
Concerned about the current plight of bees, Bristol-based wildlife cameraman and drone pilot, Josh Forwood, has created a short video helping people to learn how to create a bee hotel themselves.
When asked why he'd chosen to make a bee hotel and instructional video to encourage others to do the same, Josh commented...
Bees do so much for us and many of the eco-systems we depend upon. Urbanisation is destroying their homes. Simply put - we need bees and bees need our help. Building a bee / bug hotel is both fun and easy to do. Anyone can have a go and it can be a great project to do with children too. The end results make a charming, but very important, addition to any garden or outdoor space.
If you’re not into DIY, or you are short on time but still want to help protect bees, you may be interested in checking out local designer and manufacturer of wildlife friendly products – Wildlife World. Based in Chavenage, on the outskirts of Tetbury, they produce innovative and valuable nesting habitats and feeders for birds, mammals, amphibians and insects. Conservation and sustainability are at the heart of everything they do, and the company has won many product development, environmental and design awards since 2004.
A good starting place to find the ideal bee hotel for your garden is here - https://wildlifeworld.co.uk/collections/solitary-bees