Over recent years there has been a sharp decline in the number of honey bees in this country. This is due to various diseases and pathogens within colonies and possibly also due to environmental pressure from farming and changing weather patterns.
I’ve noticed very few honey bees flying about this spring, so as my Apple Cox’s Orange Pippin relies on cross pollination from another Cox’s Orange Pippin tree I’ve asked my neighbour if I can take a few blossoms from his tree so that I can pollinate my small tree.
Solitary bees are bees that live on their own, rather than in hives or nests. There are several hundred species across Europe, but very little is known about them apart from the fact that, like bumblebees, they are in decline.
The decline of bumblebees and solitary bee populations has also been linked to modern intensive farming
To encourage solitary bees I’ve put up solitary bee houses in my garden and each year they take up residence.
Research shows it is not just insects that are affected by the actions of humans. The number of birds visiting our gardens and parks has plunged by a fifth in four years, a survey has revealed.
The decline follows a succession of mild winters and the growing popularity of paving and decking, which robs gardens of valuable plants and insects.