What would the world be like without bees?
Documentary ‘More than honey’ at Swindon Central library
This 2013 documentary, arranged by Swindon Climate Action Network, shows how the decline of bees could have an enormous impact on the environment, which is dependent on the insects for pollination.
Without them to pollinate, fruits, vegetables, and field crops much of the world’s food supply would be in question.
Are parasites, new viruses, transportation stress or use of chemicals on crops to blame for the major decline in bee populations? The film embarks on a world journey to discover the answers.
More Than Honey is the provocative yet touching tale of what may happen if our bees become extinct, beautifully filmed by Swiss director Markus Imhoof and narrated by John Hurt.
The showing takes place on Tuesday 4 March, 7.30pm. Collection to cover costs.
Bees are responsible for pollinating a substantial proportion of our food-producing plants, and yet the population of pollinating insects is increasingly at risk, particularly after the wet winter weather.
So what can we do to encourage more pollinating insects to visit our gardens?
Kathy Hobson, secretary of Swindon Beekeepers’ Association, said: “Bees are the only pollinating insects that can survive the winter, feeding on the honey stores in their hives and keeping at a constant temperature. They are therefore the only insects available in large numbers to pollinate the Spring blossom of fruit trees.”
At least the winter has been relatively mild so beekeepers should have been able to keep their hives warm, well fed and dry, ready for the warmer weather.
Butterflies and the native bumble bee also play a crucial pollinating role, and thrive where there is an abundance of wildflowers.
John Ball, a warden at Lydiard Park, founder of wildFlowers & Butterflies (FAB), and self-styled ‘guerrilla gardener,’ said: “My dream is for everyone to create gardens that are humming with the sound only our wildflower-loving bumble bees can make.”
Both John and Kathy concur that private gardeners and municipal planters do not always favour the kind of trees and plants that pollinating insects need. John added: “Much planting is of annuals which provide a spectacular display but only last one season. My aim is to turn people onto perennials which you can plant out in your garden and they’re there forever.
“And now’s the time to start planning a bee and butterfly friendly garden, even if it is only a small area. You’ll be amazed by the busy activity by late Spring and Summer.”
To get started John recommends the yellow and orange birdsfoot trefoil for rockeries, and devils bit scabius with its small blue flowers for damper, semi-shaded areas.
John is offering seeds and plug plants, in return for a donation to FAB, from The Haven Wildflower Nursery at TWIGS community garden at Cheney Manor, next to Manor Garden Centre. It’s open on Wednesday and Friday afternoons.
Contact John: email@example.com or call 01793 877261.