It's a well-known fact that many bees are in trouble. If all the bees die, it's estimated that humanity will almost certainly die with them. This is a pretty scary fact. Bees and other key insects pollinate 70% of the fruit and vegetables we eat as well as key grazing plants for farm animals. The over-use of indiscriminate pesticides and the removal of native meadows and ancient woodlands have all pushed our wild native bee populations close to breaking point.
Our mission at Bee Good is to support initiatives that educate and encourage people to do everything they can to help the bees not just survive, but to thrive. We use honey, propolis and beeswax sourced from our own Honeybee hives and from a small network of bee farmers in the UK to help sustain their businesses and care for their bees. In addition, our botanical ingredients include extracts bee-friendly flower extracts to encourage the production of much needed food sources and forage for the bees. We also send out wildflower seed balls with all our orders to help our customers plant bee-friendly wildflowers in their own gardens, pots or window-boxes.
Simon, our founder, writes articles for several magazines, including a monthly column for the NFU's Countryside magazine and lectures on bees and beekeeping all over the UK. We have also placed several solitary bee hotels in schools both locally and elsewhere in Hampshire.
Here in the UK we have around 270 species of bees, just under 250 of which are solitary bees.These are incredibly efficient pollinators that are critical to the success of many key food crops. In addition, we have around 24 species of Bumblebees,some of which are specialist feeders dependent on a small range of native wildflowers as their principal food source.
Since 1900, the UK has lost 13 species of solitary bees and Bumblebees, and a further 35 are under threat of extinction. Across Europe, nearly 1 in 10 wild bee species face extinction. The main reasons for the decline of our bees are a combination of industrial agriculture, parasites/pathogens and climate change. Losing biodiversity, destruction of habitat and lack of forage because of monocultures and bee-killing pesticides are particular threats for bees and other wild pollinators. It's these bees in particular that need our help, as they are the ones most responsible for pollinating the crops and fruit that we consume daily.
The European Honeybee is the only bee native to the UK that lives in large colonies of between 10,000 - 80,000 individuals and produces the harvestable honey, beeswax and propolis used in the Bee Good product range. There is a great deal of nonsense in the popular press and media that Honeybees are under threat and need our support - this is simply not true!
The numbers of beekeepers and their Honeybee colonies continue to grow in the UK, with around 27,000 amateur beekeepers managing around 220,000 hives. In fact, the numbers of beehives in most UK cities has become unsustainable, with London now having over 7,400 Honeybee hives alone! Urban environments simply don't have enough forage available to feed that many Honeybees and their impact excludes many of our more precious pollinators who can't compete with an overwhelming number of Honeybees.
We work sustainably, keeping small numbers of beehives in various apiaries in rural areas, where there is enough forage for them and the other bee species. This is also the case with the relatively small number of approx 300 professional bee farmers, some of which also supply Bee Good.
Our founders, Simon and Caroline, have been active beekeepers for many years before starting Bee Good and still keep several hives in and around their home in Hampshire. The main Bee Good apiary is within a 12 acre Victorian apple orchard, surrounded by hedgerows and fields. Simon regularly writes articles for the Bee Good Blog so you can follow the progress of our bees through the seasons.