We are all about sustainability here at Salt Label, by creating swimwear using sustainable practices. Our garments are made by reusing ocean waste such as discarded fishing nets, which are woven together to make new fabrics that are cherished for a lifetime. Sustainability is so incredibly important in this lifetime and we all need to step up our game by making better buying choices and living more sustainable lives, including the foods we eat. This is where the bees come in...
Why are bees so important?
Thirty-five per cent of the crops of the world depend on insects and animals for pollination including bees, and in the last few years, the bee population has severely declined. Did you know that one tablespoon of honey is the life’s work of just ten bees? Even if you’re not a honeyeater, you probably consume foods that are very much dependant on these little guys such as almonds, apples, onions, blueberries, kiwifruit, avocados, and pretty much all other fruits on earth. One of the greatest threats to honeybees, in particular, is pesticides which hurt the bees memories and navigation making it hard for them to get back to their hives.
Coming into 2019, over 16 billion pounds of plastic are entering the ocean every year (4ocean.com), 18 million acres of forest are lost each year due to deforestation and climate change (conserve-energy-future.com), and the Earth's population is said to grow to 9 billion people in the next thirty years. That's two billion more than today (www.journey2050.com). Food production will need to rise by sixty per cent to feed all these extra people - so the bees are incredibly important in sustaining life on our planet.
There are lots of different types of bees like honeybees and bumblebees to name a few, but they all serve the same purpose. Bees love flowers and collect nectar and pollen from many different plants. When they jump from flower to flower, the pollen sticks to their hair and rubs off on other flowers which pollinates them.
What can you do to help these fluffy flying creatures help us to keep drinking our almond milk and eating our smashed avo on ciabatta?
1. Plant some bee-friendly flowers in your garden. If you don’t have a large outside area, consider buying a pot plant such as mint or rosemary. Some other bee-friendly seasonal plants for summer include tomatoes, pumpkins and sunflowers.
2. Buy local and organic food. If you’re buying food from your local farmers market, you know that it’s in season and you’re supporting the local bees. Organic produce is best - the bees won't be harmed by pesticides and neither will you.
3. Don’t be scared of the bees! Just because bees can sting you, it doesn’t mean they’re out to get you. If a bee lands on you, stay calm and wait for him/her to fly away. They are usually just smelling you. Remember that honeybees will die after stinging a human so don’t give them a reason to do this.
4. Bees get thirsty. Help the bees out by putting a little dish or basin of water outside your house. The birds will also love you for this.
5. If you see a bee on the ground, she/her might just be having a rest. Sometimes bees fly far from their hives and don’t have the energy to get back. If you want to be helpful, then you can mix a bit of sugar in some water on a spoon and feed it to the bee to give them some energy. Never feed bees honey as it can kill them and spread disease to their hives. It’s also important not to leave sugary water out for bees as they will take shortcuts and start to feed only on this instead of flowers which creates watered down honey and doesn’t pollinate any flowers.
Thanks for reading! We hope you will consider these ideas this summer and help the bee population growth for a better more sustainable future.
Photos Ellen Taylor