Bees are one of the most important creatures on this earth, so what’s all this talk of threats to our honey bees?
Bees are a lot more important to us, the human race, than just as providers of sweet honey. They are the foundation of our existence, as their pollenation abilities are what allows crops to thrive and produce fruit, without bees, there is no denying that we would end up with a food shortage, plants would die, and it would be an all round bad time. Which is why it’s particularly concerning to hear of recent news that the British bee has come under threat.
Bees have had a rough time in recent years, especially in places like North America where they have now been listed as an endangered species due to their mass decline in numbers. This comes as a result of multiple threats such as feral pigs, invasive ants, and loss of habitat due to particularly invasive plants.
The threat has now been realised in the UK with recent sightings of the Asian Hornet on the UK coasts.
Harmless to humans, but much less so to bees, the Asian hornet has a wingspan of almost double the size of a regular honey bee, and is particularly aggressive towards them, luring them out of their hives to kill the workers, queen and eventually steal all the honey, rendering all the work the honey bees put into building the hive useless.
The hornets have become widespread in central and southern France, which prompted a warning to our leading ‘bee’ authorities that the hornet could be on the way here.
And, as expected sighting have started to come in.
A spokeswoman for the British Beekeepers Association said: “They will be a real threat to our ability to keep our colonies going. The first sighting is an important event for us, because we’ll have to start making traps.”
It is now in the hands of the association and other beekeepers as well as concerned parties to work to destroy the hornets nests if they find them. While this may seem cruel, it is a big concern that just a handful of hornets can destroy an entire nest in a couple of hours.
Here’s hoping all ends well for our lovely British bees so we can continue to enjoy their presence for years to come.