It’s not all about you honey!

It’s been deadly quiet on this blog ever since I became vegan. I don’t feel I can keep honeybees now, and to be honest I think that’s a good thing. It has opened my eyes to the incredibly skewed view most of us seem to have of honeybees as nature’s best pollinator. They’re not! Far from it. For a start their proboscis is pretty short compared to that of other bees, drastically limiting the variety of flowers it can feed on, and they’re pretty fussy about their working conditions too. Plus honeybees are just one species, when there are 24 species of bumblebee and over 200 species of solitary bees, not including all the other insect pollinators.
As usual it all really comes down to money. People can make money from honeybees so that’s where politicians put their focus and their cash. However, it has been calculated that bumblebees contribution in terms of pollination is around £440 million, so they would be wise to fund more research into the decline in bumblebee numbers
This year, so far, I have seen very few bees, and even fewer butterflies, although the sunshine of the last few days seems to have brought a few out of hiding, and the numbers I saw feeding and filling up on some wall germander at the weekend made it look like Sainsbury’s on the Saturday after payday and before a bank holiday!
So I can salve my vegan conscience by concentrating my focus on feeding the bees rather than trying to get the bees to feed me.
The miserable spring has prompted garden centres to reduce the price of many of their plants, so it’s a great time to snap up some bargain bee-friendly plants. I shall report on which of my purchases turn out to be the bee’s favourite very soon.