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World Bee Day – what are you doing to help the bees?

May 20, 2020
May 20, 2020 - World Bee Day – what are you doing to help the bees?
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World Bee DayToday is World Bee day, a time to reflect on the important role of bees and other pollinators in our ecosystem. #WorldBeeDay

The importance of bees to both the environment and our economy is more significant than you might realise, and their populations are under threat.

Bees are vital to our way of life. They pollinate food crops, fertilising plants to produce fruit, vegetables, and seeds.

Bee on flower

Bees and other insect pollinators including butterflies, other insects, birds and bats, together pollinate 87% of all plant species, and about 75% of crop species. Without bees it has been estimated that supermarkets would have half the amount of fruit and vegetables on offer!

Can you imagine life without apples, tomatoes, strawberries, peppers, cherries, chocolate, coffee, and much more? What would we do without honey? Honey is a much valued food and has also been used as an antiseptic and treatment for wounds and burns for centuries.

A further decline in bees or even extinction would have a knock-on effect on the makeup of our ecosystems. Bees contribute significantly to the pollination of wildflowers that provide the basis of many food chains.

If we don't look after our bees numerous flowering plants could disappear from natural ecosystems, leading to a collapse of biodiversity and dire consequences on our own food supply.

Types of bees

Did you know three different types of bees in the UK?

There are bumblebees, solitary bees, and honey bees - over 280 bee species in total, which are all important pollinators.

Globally there are more honey bees than other types of bee and pollinating insects, so it is the world's most important pollinator of food crops.

honey bee by Roberto Lopez

Bee populations are threatened by a number of factors, including habitat loss due to agriculture and farming, urban and suburban development, pesticides, climate change, and disease. Find out more about bumblebees from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust

Easy ways to help the bees

Butterflies, moths, bees and hoverflies all need sources of nectar and pollen to thrive. As they travel from flower to flower, they also pollinate them, enabling them to set seed or bear fruit.

There are lots of small, easy steps you can take to help bees thrive:

  • Avoid using pesticides on gardens
  • Mow the grass less often
  • Plant more nectar-rich flowers, shrubs, and trees
  • Think twice before you ‘tidy’ your garden - leaving a wild corner can offer nesting sites for solitary bees
  • Leave more of our gardens blooming rather than turning them into decking or parking areas
  • Having early and late flowers in your planting mix will prolong the nectar season. Primrose, aubretia, and buddleia for spring, honeysuckle, lavender, and ivy for early summer and scabious, and daisy for late summer
  • Plant flowers in drifts creating a nectar café! This helps bees recognise them and allows them to visit repeatedly

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust have some great tips on how to attract bees to your garden

Create a bee hotel

Unlike the familiar bumblebee and honeybee, most of our bees do not make colonies but are actually solitary. The female spends most of her life searching for suitable nesting sites. Some species will nest in holes in the ground, while others look for old beetle holes or hollow stems in which to lay their eggs. You can help by creating a bee hotel in your garden.

What are B-Lines?

Have you heard of B-Lines? B-Lines are a series of wildflower-rich habitat stepping stones linking existing wildlife areas together. Creating a series of “insect pathways” like a railway network, enables wildlife to travel across our countryside, towns and cities, as our climate and landscape changes.

Why do we need action?

Our bees, butterflies and hoverflies have suffered badly over the last fifty or so years, due to changes in land use, urban spread and increased transport links. Over 97% (an area the size of Wales) of all flower-rich grasslands has been lost in England since the 1930s, reducing pollen and nectar sources resulting in a serious decline in wildlife. It has been predicted that 40-70% of species could become extinct if action is not taken to enable wildlife to move through the landscape.

The Benefits of B-Lines

B-Lines bring a range of benefits to wildlife, people and agriculture, including:

  • conserving our native pollinators and a range of other wildlife to sustain biodiversity
  • helping wildlife respond to climate change by making it easier for them to move around
  • increasing the number of insect pollinators which are essential for farming
  • bringing nature to people and encouraging everyone to play their part and help create the B-Lines network

B-Lines have been mapped across the UK - find out if you live on or near a B-Line.

During the #Covid-19 crisis lockdown people have had more time to connect with nature and have turned back to gardening. I hope our little blog on bees will inspire you to give the bees an extra helping hand!

David

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Hoe Grange Holidays Tripadvisor Comments...

  •   We stayed in the Skylark pod last October (2018) and had a lovely time. There was homemade, rustic goods (bread, biscuits etc) when we arrived. Felicity and David who run... read more

    KBarry
    9/15/2019

      Arrived and was shown to our pod, fantastic location and the pod was very good indeed plus we had home made bread and milk and tea and coffee. A... read more

    mickvfr
    7/28/2019

      We had a lovely time staying in one of the incredibly well equipped pods. I bought my pony along and we had some great rides on the high peak trail.... read more

    plopster1
    6/07/2019
  •   We love this place. Very wheelchair friendly, really well equipped and comfortable, with easy access by car to lots of places of interest particularly Crich Tramway Village, Chatsworth, Bakewell and... read more

    dghiggs61
    10/25/2019

      A beautiful place to stay! Amazingly run family business! Everyone were very welcoming, friendly and cozy! The skylark pod we stayed in was very clean, cozy and well equipped! The... read more

    sophiee249
    1/02/2020

      We have just returned from a short stay in one of the pods on site at Hoe Grange Holidays. We couldn’t recommend them enough. The pod has everything you could... read more

    Catboy86
    8/17/2019
  •   We wanted a complete break and some peace and quiet and this was perfect. The caravan was secluded with beautiful views over the countryside. Everything was spotlessly clean and well... read more

    joanne B
    6/04/2019

      It's been three years since we last visited but once we arrived it certainly didn't feel like it!
    We stayed in Hipley again which had had a refurbished wet... read more

    ElizabethA717
    9/21/2019

      We stayed in Rainster cabin for a long weekend 6 th to 9 th September. This was my 5 th visit to the amazing Hoe Grange. I had visited before... read more

    Jan Horsman J
    9/17/2019
  •   Recently spent a week in "Pinder" and had a lovely time. The location is stunning - the site is nestled in a beautiful valley on the edge of the Peaks... read more

    Peachey167
    7/16/2019

      On arriving at Hoe Grange in a downpour, we doubted if we’d made the right decision to go glamping, but after the warm welcome from David and a quick tour,... read more

    karenmD4738KD
    6/25/2019

      Felicity and David made us feel very welcome right from our booking. The pods are well equipped and spotlessly clean. The area is very peaceful with great views and we... read more

    Adventurer_12121
    1/30/2020
  •   What a lovely weekend away! We stayed in the lovely gypsy caravan, which was a wonderful and really unique experience. We took along our two horses, who also had a... read more

    rachelthomas2015
    6/18/2019

      We stayed in Skylark, one of the two glamping pods available at Hoe Grange in February 2020.

    Felicity & David welcomed us when we arrived to show us around... read more

    HelenLCarter
    2/06/2020

      Second visit to the accessible holiday cabins at Hoe Grange. David and Felicity were as helpful and friendly as ever. We had a welcome pack of freshly baked bread, butter,... read more

    Charlotte M
    8/07/2019
  •   What can I say?
    Absolutely superb!
    We have just returned from a family weekend staying in Daisybank cabin and the Skylark pod.
    It was our first trip away with my... read more

    Wheelieuser
    6/13/2019

      We stayed for a night in one of the cabins . The cabin was spotless and very well equipped , lots of extra touches were added like fresh eggs and... read more

    Ajtravels14
    2/03/2020

      Another great holiday at Hoe Grange - such a great place for us all to holiday as a family - this time with a baby, a 3 yr old, a... read more

    Thesamps
    10/04/2019
  •   We've just returned from our second visit to Hoe Grange. The suggested riding routes with stunning scenery were enjoyed by my daughter and I while the menfolk were delighted with... read more

    Jdrichie12
    7/11/2019

      What a wonderful find. As our first experience of needing accessible accommodation we could not have wished for better. Beautiful well equipped lodges in lovely surroundings. We stayed in both... read more

    L9943KBlesleym
    4/03/2020

      We love this place. Very wheelchair friendly, really well equipped and comfortable, with easy access by car to lots of places of interest particularly Crich Tramway Village, Chatsworth, Bakewell and... read more

    David H
    10/25/2019
  •   We spent four nights at Hoe Grange and had a lovely time. The location is fantastic and right next to the High Peak Trail. The cabin was very clean and... read more

    Big_Al_0000
    7/16/2019

      lovely surroundings real farm country with chickens paying you a visit nice decking area to chill at the end of the day accommodation very good plenty to do nearby... read more

    vincent s
    7/28/2019

      We stayed in Pinder cabin and had a lovely stay, the cabin was spacious and comfortable, nice and warm after cold days out. The children loved meeting the animals and... read more

    Tiggywinkle15
    11/05/2019
  •   Loved every minute of our stay, and so did the family and friends that came to stay. Excellent facilities in our cosy Hipley log cabin. By far the best... read more

    krimpenijssel
    10/25/2019

      For the second year running, we have had a great family holiday at Hoe Grange. We had one cabin for the week, for two sisters and our elderly wheelchair-using... read more

    EJYork2013
    6/25/2019

      Myself and my sister travelled to Costa Rica and Panama via Viva Holidays Ltd. The holiday was exceptional and one to be treasured forever. Andrew at Viva Holidays... read more

    Paula C
    7/04/2019
  •   Stayed last week, from 6th to 13th September in the log cabin called Hipley. This was amazing, it was our first visit but certainly not our last. Gold standard disability... read more

    548julie
    9/14/2019

      Lovely place to holiday near to interesting locations and easy access to the High Peak trail and Carsington Water. Part of a working farm with fresh produce to enjoy during... read more

    Angie B
    8/03/2019

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