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September is Bee Awareness Month

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Honey bee sitting on white flower


September is Bee Awareness Month

By Romane Perocheau

This is a month dedicated to celebrating bees! During this month, beekeeper associations are organising events to inform us of a day in the life of a beekeeper and their activities to protect bees. The aim of this month is to make people aware of the crucial importance of bees for the proper functionality of biodiversity.

Over the last 20 years there has been a dramatic decline in bee populations due to various factors. During the 2015 – 2016 winters, New Zealand beekeepers lost approximately 10% of their honey bees. The main reasons of bee disappearance are industrial agriculture, parasites/pathogens and climate change. Intensive agriculture destroys the habitats of pollinators. Also, they use a lot of chemical products as insecticides. As written in the name, insecticides eradicate insects. It causes damages on bees’ health as psychological effects or perturbation of the foraging pattern.

Why bees are essential for the functionality of the biodiversity?

A pollinator moves pollen from one plant to another to help reproduction by visiting flowers to drink nectar or feed on pollen. Bees are pollinators for about one-third of the plants we eat. Losing bees can have tragic consequences on biodiversity. A lot of commercial fruit trees and crops need pollination to produce fruit; it could lead to a loss of agricultural production. In addition, they support the growth of trees, flowers, and other plants which are used as feed and habitat amongst a large range of animals.

Everyone easy steps could save bees

During this month, people can take some easy steps to improve bees’ life and help with their protection. You can plant flowers in your garden to provide food for honey bees and wild bees. Try to reduce your use of pesticides and herbicides if you have a vegetable garden. You might buy bio-vegetables and fruit to encourage producers to stop the use of pesticides. 

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