5 myths about bees – busted

June 20th, 2013 by Kate Griffin Leave a reply »

Here we present five common myths about bees… and why they’re wrong!

“Bees make honey…”

Most of them don’t

Some bees make honey. But there are thousands of known species of bees, and most of those don’t make honey. Bees are essential for another reason: they help humans by pollinating the crops we grow. Without that help, we might not manage to grow enough food.

“Bees are all basically the same”


I’ve just mentioned that there are thousands of known species of bee. In the UK alone, there are hundreds of different bee species. The Iconic Bees information briefing from Friends of the Earth lists some of the UK’s best-known bees, including the buff-tailed bumblebee, the bilberry bumblebee and the sea-aster mining bee.

“The neonicotinoid ban will solve the problem”


The ban is very welcome news, but it’s just for two years, which isn’t enough time for bee populations to recover. It isn’t even long enough for traces of neonicotinoids to leave the soil. And it’s not a complete ban; neonicotinoids are still allowed to be used on crops that aren’t considered attractive to bees.

“There’s nothing I can do to save the bees”


We’ve written a couple of blog posts explaining things you can do: sign the Bees Billboard (quickly!), devote a patch of your garden to growing wild flowers, ask the council to stop cutting the grass verges, look for spaces in your local area that could be turned into bee-friendly zones, donate to Friends of the Earth…

Some people have become very creative in their bee-saving endeavours, even going as far as to build a “Trellick Tower” for bees to live in. You don’t have to go that far, but you could buy (or make) a little bee shelter for your own garden.

We also have some power as consumers. Some DIY stores have already begun removing neonicotinoid-containing products from their supply chain. These include big names like B&Q, Wickes, Homebase and Wilkinsons. If you’re a customer of any of these stores, you can let them know you approve of their actions and want to make sure they continue with this policy.

“It’s too late to save the bees”

Wrong, but we need to act now!

Now is a crucial time for bees. But here in the UK we’re in a strong position to improve things. Shamefully, our own government was one of the few that actually voted against the neonicotinoid ban – it’s just lucky we were outvoted. That two-year ban gives us breathing space to change our government’s shameful stance on bees by keeping up the pressure on David Cameron.

The Bees Billboard will be launched this Saturday (22nd June) in Witney. Friends of the Earth volunteers and supporters will be under the clock tower outside Waitrose from 10am to 1pm. If you’re in the town centre, do come along and say hello! And right now, there’s still time to sign: Sign the Bees Billboard



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