Conserving the humble bumblebee
Did you know bumblebees play an important role in ensuring there is food on the planet?
That's right, bumblebees are one of the main insects that pollinate our gardens, wildflowers and crops, which are essential for food production. But the future of bees in New Zealand is under threat due to disease, the removal of wildflowers and flowering trees, less green space and increased use of toxic pesticide sprays.
But you can help. There's lots that can be done, at school and at home, to help ensure the survival of the bumblebee.
- You can plant bee friendly flowers throughout the year. Bee friendly flowers are ones that are rich in nectar and include lavender, borage, geraniums, herbs and wildflower.
- Encourage bees to visit your garden by ensuring a muddy or damp area, which provides drinking water for the bees, or a small pile of dry grass or twigs makes a good nesting habitat.
- And if you find a stranded or sleepy bumblebee you can help boost its energy levels with a simple water-sugar mix. Mix equal parts of sugar and warm water then pour into a small container or lid. Place both the bee and the sugar-water mix near some flowers.
The New Zealand Bumblebee Charitable Trust (NZBCT) is on a mission to raise awareness of the humble bumblebee, promote the conservation and long-term future of bees.
NZBCT launched a song, 'The Bumblebee Song' and dance, composed by renowned musical play expert Julie Wylie. You can find 'The Bumblebee Song' on the NZBCT website, Facebook page or here.
Helen Johnson, executive officer and co-founding trustee of NZBCT says bumblebees are essential to the long-term conservation of our planet.
A final word – bee kind to bees.