Bees. BEES! They’re my absolute favourite insect; I have them on jewellery, framed artwork; everywhere – not quite, but verging on an old-lady collecting habit sort of way. Why? Bees are responsible for every one in three bites of food you eat. I was prompted to write this today as the Ceanothus bush outside the entrance to my apartment building was practically vibrating; on inspection, it was covered in an innumerable amount of busy, busy bees.
They’re natures wonders but are sadly in serious danger; I worry that in 50 years I won’t be able to take photos like the featured image above that I did today.
In the UK we’ve already lost 3 species out of 27 in recent years. This is due to pesticides, insecticides, ecological shifts and climate change. The bee population has declined by a third since 2007 and a 75% reduction of bee hives in the UK. Even though only one species of Bee is honey producing; they’re still invaluable and their rates are also dropping drastically, particularly as we now import 44% of our honey, mainly from China.
So what can we do to protect bees in the UK and bees around the world?
I’ve been a member of the Bumblebee Conservation Society for a couple of years; they support conservation, sustainability and education surrounding the UK’s Bumblebee population. Although the RHS do a lot, the BCS are currently the only UK charity dealing specifically with Bees and their preservation. An annual membership that comes with a gorgeous welcome pack, costs just £20 per year for an individual; sign up here.
Another way to support bees is to buy ethically sourced bee products, ideally those produced in the UK if you’re reading this in the UK; otherwise bee products from your country. I’ve scoured the world wide internets and found some products that I couldn’t resist ordering before adding them to this article.
Thus far I haven’t tried any of these, apart from the Sheffield Honey that I picked up from a local food market and can confirm is delicioso. Bee Good has UK honey and then each of the others use honey and beeswax from their immediate local source as they’re farmer/bee keeper produced.
1. Bee Good Honey and Camelina Facial Exfoliator
Milled lavender flowers gently lift and exfoliate away dead skin cells without irritation. Wheatgerm oil soothes and moisturises dry skin whilst British propolis helps to balance problematic skin and camelina oil protects and nourishes.
2. The Sheffield Honey Company Honey
I love this and not just because the branding is on point. Their soft set honey is gorgeous and all their honeys are produced using their own Yorkshire bees. I always stick to honey as local as possible due to hellish hayfever. By eating local honey and pollen/propolis products, they absolutely help build up your pollen immunity.
3. Yorkshire, English Beeswax Candles
I love Beeswax Candles. These are created from Yorkshire beeswax, by a small British company who have been producing candles using traditional techniques for over 30 years. These have a burn time of 24 hours, with barely any smoke or drips and come as a pair joined at the wick (just give them a snip).
4. Chain Bridge Honey Farm Honey and Beeswax Lip Balm
All their honey and beeswax is collected in late summer when our hives are situated on moorland around Wooler, Chatton, Chillingham, Belford and Rothbury, all in north Northumberland and then also in the Lammermuirs, Berwickshire.
5. Busy Bee Face Cream for Combination Skin
An effective daily natural skincare treatment for normal, oily, or combination skin, this silky face cream will become one of your beauty routine essentials. Its honey and beeswax moisturises and heals, while its lavender and bergamot essential oils relax and soothe.
Oh also, as requested by a couple of readers recently, I’ve re-added email subscriptions that will deliver the latest post to your inbox every day there is one. You can either use the form below, on the sidebar or if you’re reading this some other way, click here to sign up directly.