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Bees~how to help!


By Arlene


Article in the Daily Mail
Give bees a booster: Gardeners urged to leave out energy drinks for exhausted bees

By Fiona Macrae
Last updated at 8:06 AM on 12th August 2009

How do you wake up a tired bee? Give it a sugar buzz, apparently.

Gardeners are being urged to leave out a drink made of sugar and water to help Britain’s flagging bee population.

The RSPB has been inundated with calls about the insects lying on the ground, unable to fly.

Busy as a bee: Gardeners have been advised to leave sugary drinks among the flowers in a bid to boost the insects’ flagging energy levels

While the bees may appear to be injured, they are more likely to simply be tired out, the wildlife charity said.

As a pick-me-up, it recommends mixing two tablespoons of sugar with a tablespoon of water and placing the homemade ‘energy drink’ among beefriendly flowers such as sunflowers and buddleia.

Val Osborne, head of wildlife inquiries at the RSPB, said: ‘Busy as a bee is a true saying – bees are working to keep the planet’s food chain intact and they really do deserve our help.’
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It is unclear why bees are struggling, but bad weather may have played a role.

Bees fly less when it is wet and cold, meaning they have to work doubly hard to collect pollen and nectar when it clears us.

Wet weather also washes pollen off plants, leaving stores low and forcing bees to fly further afield than usual.

Miss Osborne said: ’Many people keep seeing bees on the ground and assume they are dead, but chances are they are having a rest.

‘Much like us, a sugary drink could boost their energy levels and a simple sugar and water combination will be a welcome treat.’

An egg cup will hold the right amount and stop curious birds diving in for a bath. Sugar should be white and granulated, as brown sugar plays havoc with a bee’s digestive system.

Honey should also be avoided. While it may seem the natural way to boost sugar levels, some varieties may contain nasty viruses.

And while Lucozade and Red Bull may be the perfect tonic for human tiredness, their caffeine content would leave bees in a spin.

Gardeners are also being encouraged to choose plants such as sunflowers and buddleia to provide food for bees and other insects.

Uwe Stoneman, who manages an RSPB farm which boasts a ‘bumblebee meadow’, said: ’There are some species of plant which are very good, buddleia is one.

‘Another is viper’s bugloss. It is a tall decorative plant with bright blue flowers and really attracts bumblebees to the garden.

‘There are also other things people can do. When I last cut my lawn, I noticed a lot of patches of clover. I didn’t mow them and you can see the number of bumblebees it has attracted.’

Dry, sunny banks and warm patches of bare earth in lawns and borders are also attractive to bees and some like burrowing under piles of stones.

Some of the calls to the RSPB may have been sparked by a growing awareness about the plight of bees, whose numbers have plummeted in the past 20 years because of weather, disease and changes in farming methods.

The species under the greatest threat are the wild honey bee, the short-haired bumblebee and the garden bumblebee.

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Great blog to help the bees ~
Arlene - well done :o)

27 Aug, 2009


very informative Arlene. i seem to have lots of bees not sure what type. but i have only seen a few bumblebees this year.

27 Aug, 2009


Brill blog

27 Aug, 2009


I will try that. Thanks!

27 Aug, 2009


Great blog and some good ideas contained in it.
We have lots and lots of Bumble Bees, both in my garden and at work but have only seen a few Honey Bees. We have been lucky and have been spared the bad weather lots of others have had so that may have helped.

27 Aug, 2009


Fascinating blog ,thanks Arlene........

27 Aug, 2009


Thanks Arlene, good work.

27 Aug, 2009


I've seen a few bees on the ground lately. I try and put them somewhere out of Blodyn's sight.

27 Aug, 2009


Good blog Arlene, I saw the article in the Mail, but never thought to post it for others to see, well done you!

27 Aug, 2009


Just read this - going to mix it up right now.

28 Aug, 2009


The TV programme, Who Killed the Honey Bee ? is on BBC4 tomorrow. Details on my TV shows. blog. :o)

29 Aug, 2009


great advice arlene, i was told honey so thats what i did, but wont now after reading this, sugar and water from now on :o)

3 Sep, 2009

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