For me, this is a wonderful summer as we have days of warmth and sunshine followed by damp humid weather in turn: it is too inconsistent for some people for whom the season must be weeks of heat and scorching sun to be perfect, but I love the sight of grateful trees and plants flourishing in what are perfect growing conditions for them, and of masses of bugs filling the warm skies providing a feast, day after day, night after night, for birds and bats. If the wildlife is happy, then so am I.
There is, at last, an open acknowledgement that our bee population is troubled through weather and disease, and possibly other causes such as intensive farming methods, pesticides and chemicals, and loss of habitat. Their importance in supporting the human food chain is being recognised and it is for this reason that the British government is convening a major review by experts to identify the reasons for their decline and what to do about it. I suspect, if bees were not so crucial, they would not bother. But, anything to help the situation is welcome, and I hope the “national pollinator strategy” will be in place as soon as possible – within months and not years.
It is not just bees that are important but all pollinators. If you look at a flower on a warm day you are likely to see it full of tiny insects as well as being touched by bees – of many varieties – and butterflies, and all of them do so much to ensure we have our food. We can help their cause through careful planting of native species, and by allowing patches of long grass and weeds to grow naturally if that is possible where you are, for they will be filled with clouds of tiny, essential, insects which will do no harm to you but will do much good in many ways.
It is heartening to write about what may be good news for our bees, today. I will follow the progress of the review with great attention and with hope, but without expectation.