May 15th, 2012 by The Channel Islands Co-operative Society Limited
Primary schools across Guernsey and Jersey have received information leaflets and packets of wildflower seeds which, when planted, will help to feed the bee populations of both islands.
Besides producing honey and beeswax, bees pollinate about one third of the food crops that humans rely on globally. Without bees many foods wouldn’t be produced.
Pollination is vital for many plants, including many fruits and vegetables. Without the service of pollinating bees, humans would be without apples, blackberries, blueberries, broccoli, celery, cucumbers, onions and chocolate (cocoa) and many more foods.
In Guernsey, a low bee population means a low number of pollinators to pollinate our vegetables, fruit trees, and flowers that depend on pollination. Bees are essential to our environment.
In 2009, American Foulbrood killed about one third of Jersey’s bee population. Fortunately, Guernsey’s bee population has not suffered the same fate.
In the last 12 months, the Guernsey Beekeepers’ Association has seen its membership double as beekeeping becomes increasingly popular.
Alan Jewell, President of the Guernsey Beekeepers’ Association, said “we have been concerned to maintain the health and strength of our bee population. If islanders can support us by following a few simple steps, such as planting wildflowers, our bees have a better chance of prospering.”
Mrs Jane Rix, an experienced beekeeper, and a member of St Martin’s Floral Committee, joined Channel Islands Co-operative representatives at an assembly at St Martin’s School on Monday 14 May 2012 to speak to them about what they, their classmates and their families can do to help. Mrs Rix joined the students afterwards in their outdoor woodland classroom to plant wildflower seeds.
Ways to help the bee population:
Greg Yeoman from The Channel Islands Co-operative said “we are delighted to launch our local Plan Bee initiative. We are sending out 500 packets of seeds to the island’s primary schools as part of our campaign to raise awareness of the plight of the local bee population and to inspire islanders to get involved and do their bit to help.”
Plan Bee is part of national campaign, which the Co-op in the UK established in 2009, with the aim of addressing the decline in pollinators such as bees, butterflies and moths.