A report from Friends of the Earth (FoE) found the bee population is in freefall. The sting in the tail is with fewer of them to pollinate vital crops and plants, there will be less food and failures of whole eco-systems. And in turn, it will require manual pollination which will be massively costly to the country.
“Although you might not think it, bees are really important to our economy,” said our source from Evo Promotions, a Maidstone-based sales and marketing company, “It’s not just the supply of honey that suffers. Bees are responsible for pollinating a lot of the crops we grow for food.”
FoE said bees pollinate around £137.4 million of crop sales in the region, according to research conducted by experts at the University of Reading. Nationally, if the bee died out, it would annually cost the country a staggering £1.8 billion to hand-pollinate crops. That would pay for 60,000 teachers.
The research found Kent has already lost over half the honey bees kept in managed hives, and wild honey bees numbers are dropping dramatically. Solitary bees are declining in more than half the areas they’ve been studied and the bumblebee is now extinct in the South East.
And at the North Foreland Golf Club in Broadstairs, staff are working to avoid under par numbers of bees on the fairways. Manager Dan McGrath has launched Operation Pollinator. He said this is aimed at increasing the number of pollinating insects and bees on the course.
He said: “The bumblebee is in serious decline and the green-keeping team is excited and proud of the work carried out to date. There’s a real buzz of excitement with the team installing new nesting sites for important pollinating bee species this spring. We have already established new habitats of wildflowers on out-of-play areas around the course last autumn, to provide pollen and nectar sources for bumblebees and other bee species.”
Our source at Evo Promotions said, “It’s fantastic that the golf club is taking this initiative and helping local wildlife, especially when it’s so important. I hope other people follow the example, before it’s too late.”