Yesterday we had a visit from a swarm of honey bees. They had stopped to rest in one of of the trees outside the Client Service Building.
WE NEED THE BEES! We may take them and other pollinators like butterflies and hoverflies for granted - but they are vital for stable, healthy food supplies. They are key to the varied, colourful and nutritious diets we need and have come to expect.
Bees are perfectly adapted to pollinate, helping plants grow, breed and produce food. They do so by transferring pollen between flowering plants and so keep the cycle of life turning.
The vast majority of plants we need for food rely on pollination, especially by bees: from almonds and vanilla and apples to squashes.
Thanks to bees we can enjoy a range of foods from apples and pears to coffee and vanilla. And if you are wearing cotton, that's because the cotton plant your threads came from was pollinated.
Bees are important for more just for honey. In a world without bees we would probably survive. But our existence would be more precarious and our diets would be dull, poorer and less nutritious. And not just for want of honey. Even some plants grown to feed to livestock for meat production, such as clover and alfalfa, depend at least partly on bee pollination. So be kind to bees. We need them!