In today’s world we are all becoming more aware of the important of bio diversity, sustainability and the environment as a whole. Bees, as we know are becoming more and more endangered in recent years and their numbers have been plummeting in recent years. The reasons for this is due to the loss of wildflowers growing naturally in our countryside
Wildflowers have been growing on agricultural land over decades and all that time they have been attracting honey bees with their array of bright coloured flowers and nectar within. These wildflower meadows have declined as the rate of high intensity agriculture increases
Intensive agriculture is all about getting the highest possible yields out of each acre of land. With this farmers can reduce their overall costs while increasing the amount of money they get each year at the time of harvest. Intensive agriculture also means that we can produce more food on less land and so reduce the pressure on food shortages in our every increase world population
To increase yields on farmland increased amounts of fertiliser is required. This in turn boost the growth of crops and grass at the expense of our native wildflowers. Wildflowers seeds & meadows grow better in soil with a lower fertility. But as we increase fertiliser levels on land many of our once common wildflowers such as buttercups and cowslips are long gone from fields
The impact of this is quite significant of bees as they are losing a once steady and reliable source of food and nectar
Another reason for the decline in bee numbers is the loss of habitat for bees. And again, while farming has been the cause of the loss of wildflowers, it is also the cause of the loss of habitats for bees. It is these same flower filled fields that were once a home of bees in Ireland. But with yearly ploughing and with every possible inch of grassland being cultivated each year, little room is left over for bees to live
The net effect of the loss of bees from our landscape is a loss of essential pollinators. Bees are responsible for most of the natural pollination that incurs in farms, gardens and orchards. Without this process gardens would be devoid to fruits, new seeds, annual flowering plants, eventually biennials and over time the loss of all flowering plants, crops, fruits and countless other insects that rely on those plants to survive. No to mention the majority of foods that we eat from breakfast cereals to bread, beer and biscuits!
It is amazing how delicate the balance within ecosystems really is and how the loss of such simple wildflowers could spark a chain reaction causing the eventual loss of modern life as we know it. So maybe this will make to take a second look the next time to walk past a lonely weed or wildflower growing in the wild