We all know climate change is a threat to vital pollinators such as the beloved bee, but how exactly are these species threatened by it? Here's 5 ways climate change is impacting bees and what you and your business can do to help save them.
- Seasonal pollination: Climate change means that global temperatures are rising and the regular seasons that bees are used to are changing. You have probably noticed less snow over winters and spring flowers appearing earlier than 10 or 20 years ago. When flowers bloom early, bees are not always ready to feed on the pollen. This can lead to a decline in bee health and a decline in vital pollination to other plants. One hive can pollinate up to 250 million flowers a day so keeping bees alive is vital for supporting our food system!
- Habitat loss: Due to urban sprawl (the development of which is accelerating climate change) and increasingly extreme weather, bee habitats are under threat. Wildflower meadows, marshes, forests, woodland are all declining and this means bees have fewer habitats to reside. 17% of bees are already extinct in regions of the UK such as the East of England which is notorious for its diverse range of habitats.
- Extreme weather: Climate change causes more extreme variations in weather meaning there are more droughts, floods, fires etc. Bees have less time to adapt to these weather events and if their habitats are destroyed, they are less able to recover from periods of extreme weather. Extreme weather also leads to an increase in crop failure meaning bees have less pollen to feed on.
- Increase in diseases: Bees are already vulnerable to diseases, fungi, and mites that impact their lifespan and ability to pollinate. These harmful diseases increase alongside temperatures meaning bees are at increased risk as climate change worsens.
- Pesticide impacts: Although pesticides are not directly related to climate change, as an increase in global temperatures results in more unstable crop yields and more diseases, farmers will have to rely more heavily on pesticides to stabilise their food production. Pesticides are extremely harmful to bees and other pollinators as they affect their central nervous system. Studies show that when bees have access to optimal nutrition, they are better able to deal with pesticides though as their food sources decrease due to climate change, their ability to resist pesticide impacts reduces too.
So, what can we do about this? As a business, you can take action to support bees and other pollinators and mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Renting one of our beehives for your office space or a nominated location will tangibly improve the biodiversity of the area and will help support the local food system. Your hive will be fully managed by our expert beekeepers and as part of our services, we offer disease management and control so we will be able to identify any harmful pollutants or diseases that may be impacting your bees. If your business is looking to expand but fit in with the new Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) requirements, our services fully support BNG. To find out more about this, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.