Honey bees are pollinators vital to our food chain. One third of the food we
eat would not be available but for honey bees.
In the UK about 70 crops are dependent on, or benefit from, visits from bees. In addition, bees pollinate the flowers of many plants which become part of the feed of farm animals. The economic value of honey bees and bumble bees as pollinators of commercially grown insect pollinated crops in the UK has been estimated at over £200 million per year.
But tragically bees are in danger of disappearing from our environment! Farming practices continue to disturb the natural habitats and forage of solitary and bumblebees at a rate which gives them little chance for re-establishment.
And the honeybee is under attack from the varroa mite and it is only the treatment and care provided by beekeepers that is keeping colonies alive. Most wild honeybee colonies have died out as a result of this disease. In fact due to the varroa mite, the longest a feral honeybee colony can survive in the wild is about 18 months; the bee-keeper has now become the guardian of the honey-bee in the UK and most other countries around