How to help our bees this summer
As the temperature rises, it’s important that we look after some of nature’s most hardworking creatures. We’re talking, of course, about bees: the brave workers playing a crucial role in our ecosystem.
In hot conditions like we experienced towards the end of July, bees need a little extra help in gathering nectar from flowers. Because they have a high metabolism, bees can quickly become tired and dehydrated, which is when you start to see them crawling along the ground.
Having access to water is important, not only for Bees but for birds and insects too; ideally in shallow bowls so they can’t drown.
Many of us have been taught to help bees with a solution of sugar water, but according to one of the UK’s leading insect charities, this should only ever be a last resort, nothing more than a quick hit to help the bee get to a flower, where they can get a more substantial meal containing the vital nutrients they need to go about their work.
So what is the alternative?
The best course of action if you spot a bee in distress is to help it to a nearby flower, such as a dandelion. There is still a possibility that the plant has already had all the nectar drained by other bees, but at least the bee will be able to rest and re-energise in relative safety.
Later in the season, drone bees force the workers out of the hive. While it might appear cruel, in these instances, it is probably better to let nature take its course and leave the bee alone as feeding it can do more harm than good. And in fact, most bees only have a lifespan of between 14 and 28 days, so it is not inconceivable that the one you see on the ground is approaching the end of its natural life.
At Nurture, our teams have installed more than 110 beehives across the country as part of our clients’ biodiversity plans. From West London to Manchester and beyond, we have seen our bee colonies thrive under the watchful eye of our resident beekeepers.
See more in this video.