The Buzz About National Honey Bee Day
And Why We Need to Save the Bees…
As organic farmers, we’re all about preserving and bettering wildlife, no matter how big or small. We’re conscious that all living things play a part in the continued circle of life, and that the intricacies of this circle are integral to not only organic farming but agriculture across the globe. This is why it’s so important that we have celebratory and reflective days such as National Honey Bee Day to appreciate even the smallest of creatures that keep our world ticking along…
National Honey Bee Day
National Honey Bee Day, which runs on Saturday 21st August 2021, started back in 2009 when a small group of Beekeepers decided an awareness day was needed to recognise the contribution of honey bees to our everyday lives. The celebration also pays homage to the Beekeepers themselves, whose work ensures the survival of the critical species, allowing them to continue to pollinate crops. Honey bees are responsible for more than a third of the food we eat, so recognising and protecting the species for future generations is definitely something deserving of its own day.
Why Do We Need Honey Bees?
From organic apples to organic coffee, Honey bees pollinate a whole host of crops – even the organic cotton on your back needs to be pollinated. At the Eversfield Organic farm, we also rely on the bees to pollinate some of the plants grown to feed our herd of heritage Aberdeen Angus cattle, such as wild clover. Bees are naturally adapted to pollinate, helping plant growth and breeding which in turn creates a stable, varied and nutritious food supply.
However, a loss of habitat and food sources combined with the exposure to pesticides and the effects of climate change are having a real impact on Honey bees. To continue the transfer of pollen between flowering plants and produce a large majority of the crops we rely on for food, now really is the time to save the bees.
How Organic Farms Help the Bees
Research shows that on average, plant, insect and bird life is 50% more abundant on organic farms. Plus, organic farms are home to around 75% more wild bees. But why are organic farms better for bees? Organic farming avoids the use of artificial fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides, allowing nature to take over for higher crop diversity and wealth, meaning more for the bees to work with. This wider diversity of pollen resources combined with lower mortality from pesticides means Honey bee colonies on organic farms benefit from 20% more adult bees and 53% greater honey production.
On some organic farms like ours, we take the next step to help the UK bees by planting our own flowering crops in our Market Garden. These bee-friendly plants support the pollinators, who in turn help our garden to grow and are a natural way to keep away some unwanted pests.
The Benefits of Honey
As we mentioned before, honey production from Honey bee colonies living within organic farm fields is over 50% more efficient. What is honey? In short, honey is converted plant nectar that bees collect in their honey stomach (scientifically known as ‘Proventriculus’) and bring back to their hive to be converted by the worker bees. Once processed by the bees, honey consists of fructose and glucose sugars (giving it that sweet, sweet taste) plus vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes and amino acids.
The antioxidants found in honey have been linked to lowering the risk of stokes, heart attacks and some forms of cancer. Some research also shows that honey can even help eye health, too. To gain all the benefits, we recommend opting for an organic honey for a pure, unfiltered and raw, nutrient rich and tasty treat. Try Raw’s Acacia Honey or Maya Honey in your next organic food delivery, available here at Eversfield Organic.
From planting your own plants for bees or purchasing natural, organic honey, there are lots of ways to get involved with National Honey Bee Day on Saturday 21st August 2021 and make a real difference in saving the bees.