Hayley Matthews: Nothing is sweeter than saving the thirsty bees
Being a mum who's passionate about the Earth and its lodgers, I always try to teach my son good values when it comes to being responsible, picking up your litter (and sometimes other people's), being kind to those in need and being a nice person.
This doesn’t just extend to the human race or pets – we’re bee savers too!
Recently, whilst at the Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh, we were learning about these amazing little creatures. Sadly, over the past 15 years, they have been disappearing. And colonies of bees just vanishing – known as ‘colony collapse disorder’ – is something that will hit us and our children right in the bellies one day. We depend on them so much as humans. And with billions of honey bees across the world leaving their hives never to return (in some regions, up to 90 per cent of bees have disappeared!), we need to help these fuzzy little troopers.
“But why?” I hear you ask. Well, believe it or not, bees pollinate 30 per cent of the world’s crops, allowing us to make pasta, bread, wheat etc. Without the pollinators, simply, we’d be at risk of starvation on a global scale. Pollinators transfer pollen and seeds from one flower to another, fertilising the plant so it can grow and produce food. Cross-pollination helps about 90 per cent of our wild plants to thrive. Without bees to spread seeds, many plants — including food crops — would die off. And then, we might too.
My reason for the rant is because I found a little contraption that we can all put in out gardens to help the bees out. They live off sugar so when you see one lying on the ground, chances are, it’s not dead, just dehydrated and all they need is some sugar water or a tiny bit honey on a teaspoon. If you fill a bowl with marbles, add sugar and water, voilà you have a bee drinking station that will save many a bee from the dreaded drooth. It’s not a nice feeling, is it? So, let’s do our bit. After all, they do keep us in sandwiches, spaghetti and biscuits, so it’s the least we can do.
I’ve signed many petitions recently regarding the ban on bee-killing pesticides, they’re so dangerous to our eco system.
However, not only that, but they must come back to damage us somehow as well. As the big bold humans, we sometimes don’t think about the bigger picture that if we use less chemicals we’d actually be doing ourselves a favour too.
Many a time on the way back from school I’ve whipped out the water bottle and sugar sachet (often pinched from Morrison’s Café) to mix and let the bees have a drink.
My son loves saving bees and it’s lovely to see kids appreciate the importance of nature, as well as learning that no matter how big or small, we all have a purpose on this Earth.
Isn’t it a much nicer place if we can help the little fuzzies out now and then? It truly is amazing when you see a bee drink, they don’t want to hurt us, and they’re very gentle when handled the correct way.
So if you’re brave enough, I challenge you, carry a sugar sachet in your purse and share your bottle of water to help out any dehydrated bees you find. You may think I’m crazy, but if you come back in your next life as a thirsty bee, you’ll be hoping to find my drinking station in the garden with flashing lights on!