Bee-ing a Hero

12th May 2015

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Did you know that the UK bee population has dropped by over a third in recent years? That doesn’t just have an impact on our natural diversity – it has huge implications for our food security and environmental health too. Fortunately, passionate Raleigh ICS alumni are doing their bit to save the bees, and are getting their entire communities involved too!

 

Even five years ago, people didn’t think much about bees. They were just another insect we found in summer gardens. But as one of the major pollinators of many major crops worldwide, bees are actually crucial to a healthy ecosystem, and their population over the last few years has been declining at an alarming rate. Motivated by their passion for wildlife and sustainability, Raleigh alumni Chloe and Joanna created ‘seed bombs’ to distribute throughout their communities.


Jo said, “In recent years the bee population has drastically decreased. Not only does that mean we are slowly losing yet another species of animal, it also results in a harrowing effect on the rest of the Earth's inhabitants. A bee's main job is to pollinate the natural world around us; from the trees that produce the oxygen that we breathe, to the fruits and flowers that we (like many other animals) consume. In planting my seed bombs I hope to encourage the bee population to once again thrive.”


The seed bombs were each made from a mix of wildflower seeds like lavender, and wrapped in a good handful of fertiliser. Jo planted hers on derelict or unused land around her town: “I chose locations that have been neglected in an attempt to brighten up my local community as well as attracting busy little bees to less populated and ideally safer locations.”

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Actions like these sound simple, but they can make a huge difference to local bee populations and our ecological diversity. We’ve lost 97% of our wildflower areas since the 1930s, so any amount we plant will make a difference! Chloe took the opportunity to raise awareness of other ways we can help bees, too: “I typed up a letter to go with the seeds, stating what they were for, how to care for them, and why I was giving them out, then sealed the paper with a bee sticker. I went to every house on my road, knocked on the door, explained why I was there and gave them a free sachet of seeds to plant in their front/back garden to encourage bees. There was also some additional information in the letters explaining how to build a bee hotel and how to provide water for them.”

“I think actions like these are about getting people to think about something that isn’t to do with self-gain for a short while, and maybe the ripples of helpfulness will spread.” – Chloe

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World Environment Day is coming up on the 5th June. Have you got any plans to support your local environment? Let us know at alumni@raleighinternational.org.