A summer stroll in the sunshine will almost certainly guarantee a sighting of a bee, gently buzzing around from flower to flower – a sound we all associate with days pottering in the garden or sunshine walks along the coast path.
Our hard-working bees have been pollinating plants and promising the sweet treat of honey for millions of years. It’s hard to imagine a life without bees, but sadly they are in decline. July 10th is Don’t Step on a Bee Day and the following week, 13th - 19th July is Bees Needs Week, both raising awareness on the importance of our amazing bees and their influence on our lives.
Bees pollinate wildflowers, gardens and crops which creates the foundation of our diverse ecosystem. Their decline threatens the survival of other wildlife, flower meadows and agricultural crops too. Did you know, without the work of our little buzzing friends, over a third of everything we eat would disappear from our tables!
There are so many ways you can help save the bees, we’ve rounded up five simple steps you can take below:
Grow a bee-friendly garden
Our gardens provide nectar and pollen for our bees and other pollinators so they can thrive. You can easily create a haven for our striped friends in your garden by growing a mixture of flowering plants bee’s love. Different bees are active throughout the year, so it’s best to grow a selection of flowers year around if possible. Single, open flowers where you can see the central part of the flower are perfect for bees, dahlias, lavender, alliums, honeysuckle, cornflowers and clematis are all perfect for the job.
If you have enough space, why not leave a section of the garden untended? Bees love long grass and making nests under the hedgerows. You can also buy, or easily build an ‘insect hotel’. Cornish based Green&Blue have a wonderful selection of bee homes available which we love, but you can easily build your own using bamboo and cardboard too!
Give a bee a little ‘buzz’
If you find a tired bee in your home or garden, a simple solution of sugar and water will help rejuvenate and revive them. Simply mix 2 teaspoons of white sugar with 1 teaspoon of water and place on a plate or spoon to give tired bees a boost. Please remember never to feed a bee honey.
Research and educate
Get to know your bees! There are more than 250 species of bees in the UK, including the honeybee that typically lives in hives managed by beekeepers. Read this great resource from our friends WWF on UK bee species here.
Honey has many nutritional, medicinal and flavourful rewards, but when buying honey try to go for something organic or local, from beekeepers who practice sustainability. By doing this, you have full visibility where your honey is coming from and can importantly cut down on the carbon emissions used to ship honey to your local supermarket. By buying organic and local you stimulate ethical bee keeping practices in your country and help nature to flourish.
Go chemical free
Synthetic pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides are harmful to bees and wreak havoc on their sensitive systems, not only do they change ecosystems, but they destroy habitats too. Populations of bees and other pollinators have fallen dramatically in recent years and there is growing scientific evidence that pesticides are playing a significant role in this. Instead, switch to organic and natural alternative, such as compost to improve soil health and insects to keep pests away.
Sustainability is at the heart of St. Eval and nature inspires everything we do. We look after the environment and tread softly on the earth; respecting and renewing. Our farm is a wonderful haven for wildlife, surrounded by barley fields, hay meadows and beautiful wildflowers for nature to flourish. Discover more about life on our farm here.
We are also Wildlife Partners of Cornwall Wildlife Trust and have been for many years, supporting the fantastic work they do to protect Cornwall’s wildlife and wild places on land and in our seas. Their nature reserves provide natural habitats which are essential for bees and other wildlife. In conserving wild bees, we are ensuring a healthier environment for all wildlife.
In celebration of our amazing bees and for ‘Don’t Step on a Bee Day’ on 10th July, we’ve launched a bee-themed giveaway on our Facebook and Instagram in collaboration with some fantastic brands. For more information click here, and to enter the giveaway please visit our Instagram @stevalcandles.
Cornish Honey Cake Recipe
Celebrate the sweet nectar of honey with this delicious Cornish Honey Cake recipe by Beth Sachs at Jam & Clotted Cream, we simply had to share! A lovely moist cake, serve perfectly with clotted cream ice cream.
- 250g Clear Honey
- 225g Butter, cubed
- 100g Dark Muscavado Sugar
- 3 Eggs, beaten
- 300g Self Raising Flour, sifted and put into large mixing bowl
- 1 Tsp Ground Ginger
- Grease and line a 20cm springform tin and preheat the oven to 160c.
- In a large pan melt the honey, butter and sugar. Once liquid, increase the heat and boil for 1 minute stirring continuously. Take off the heat and cool for 20 minutes.
- Stir in the beaten eggs with a wooden spoon then pour into the mixing bowl with the flour, add the ground ginger and stir to combine.
- Bake for 1 hr then place on cooling rack in tin.
- If you would like to glaze the cake, place 3 TBSP of honey in a pan, heat then brush onto the cake. Leave to cool before removing from tin.
Saving the bees is a big job, but there are so many easy ways to take action. We’d love to hear the favourite flowers in your garden to help bees flourish or any other tips you can share with how to save our bees, please get in touch on social @stevalcandles or on email email@example.com.