DON’T STEP ON A BEE DAY 2022

DON’T STEP ON A BEE DAY 2022

A bee flying over wild flowers

Step forward Bumblebee Fans

I am often found grovelling around on pavements, mostly I recall in London, something that I take in my stride these days, but I still get odd looks. On this ‘don’t step on a bee day’ I think we should all watch where we step and keep a close eye out for Bumblebees who maybe struggling to find some flowers on which to feed. If you see a bumblebee on the ground, I suggest you gently pick it up, (they very rarely sting, but if you are worried pick it up on a piece of paper or leaf) and place it on a nearby flower. You will have an amazing warm and fuzzy feeling for helping to save one of our most incredible and amazing insects.

Having saved a bumblebee from being stepped on I can share some more good news as a result of your kindness. You have played an important role in halting and reversing the decline in our wild bees, bumblebees, and solitary bees.

A bee feeding on lavender

Please don’t stop there because with some simple actions you can make a huge and positive difference – check out our Bee the Change campaign and make a pledge, I promise you it will help.

We can also provide opportunities for bumblebees by planting bee friendly flowers, (our free to use Beekind tool will help). We can also learn about them and their importance for the recovery of our planet and crucially we can learn to love them because we protect that which we love, and our bumblebees need protection. 

A white tailed bumble bee feeding on a wild flower head
Did you know the UK is home to around 270 bee species? Most people are familiar with the charismatic bumblebees, but the 250 species of solitary bee remain lesser known – these are our wild bees. (The Honeybee we describe as domesticated and is not in danger of extinction or decline).
In the last 80 years our bumblebee populations have crashed, two species have become nationally extinct, and several others have declined dramatically.
There are a few reasons why we should be concerned about the declines of bumblebees, we have lost two to extinction and have 2 species on the edge of extinction. In commercial terms, they are extremely important pollinators, and therefore contribute a great amount to our economy. In 2012, insect pollination (including bumblebees) was estimated to be worth £691 million to the UK and 14.2 billion Euro to the EU.  84% of all crops grown in UK depend on pollination, and this service is estimated to be worth £691m – this is a conservative estimate.
A brown-banded carder bee in flight
Next time you are walking along and you spot a bee on the pavement where it might be stepped on – please do what you can to safely rescue it – I promise you that warm and fuzzy feeling but I also promise you an increasing respect and fascination for this wonderful insect.
Gill Perkins 
CEO Bumblebee Conservation Trust 
https://www.bumblebeeconservation.org/
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