Guest article on honey and bees by Michelle D’Arcy Jewell from The Vegan Hub:
I’ve had a few people suggest that if they stopped eating honey then it would cause a decline in the number of bees and that would be catastrophic for the environment. I can totally understand why people might think this, after all when we think about bees we generally think about bee hives in gardens or farms that are made to give the bees somewhere to live, and if the farmer can’t get honey in return for providing these ‘homes’ then the bees would die out.
However, that isn’t the way things really work. Honeybee hives aren’t natural and if managed incorrectly could in fact harm the environment. There are hundreds of different bee species in the UK alone, and honeybees are only one of them. If they become more abundant due to being farmed for their honey they will compete with wild bees for food which makes it harder for them to survive. When we talk about a lack of bees, it isn’t honeybees that are the problem, there are plenty of those.
What you can do to help bees
Whether we support honey farming or not, the best way to help the bees is to plant bee friendly flowers in your garden. Make sure you choose native species and have a variety of different plants.
You can campaign for less pesticide use, both by councils and farmers. There also should be a ‘no mow’ policy for green spaces and borders along roads to encourage the growth of dandelions and other wildflowers that provide food for the bees.
Michelle D’Arcy Jewell – The Vegan Hub, Parade Shops, Shrewsbury