Following on from the Wiggly Wigglers Podcast team's (Podcast 133) concerns over the decline of bees, I thought some bee facts might be interesting:
Bees pollinate more than 90 flowering food crops. Some of these crops, such as broad and runner beans, rely heavily on bees and without them there would be little or no crop at harvest time.
Honey bees pollinate about one third of the food in the human diet.
In pollinating plants, bees are vital to eco-systems. Without them many native species of plants would disappear.
There has been a decline (of approximately 70%) in numbers of wildflowers that rely on insects for pollination.
The dwindling numbers of bees is largely due to loss of habitat, intensive farming and overuse of pesticides and herbicides. This makes it all the more important that we all do our bit to plant wildflowers in our gardens that provide much needed nectar and pollen for bees and, indeed, other wildlife.
Interesting bee sites: Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Bees, Wasps and Ants Recording Society, Bumblebee.org, Buglife
You can also check an interesting article on solitary bees in the UK