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Though it might not be one marked down in your calendar, today (20 May) is World Bee Day.
A day adopted by the United Nations from the Slovenian Beekeepers Association to raise awareness of the importance of protecting and preserving bees and other pollinators.
Because, you might not know it, but bees are our most loyal ally.
Bees are most commonly known for honey, but these buzzy creatures are also behind most of the food we love – fruit, veg, chocolate and even coffee (thank you, bees).
But bees are also crucial for the pollination of plants – pollinating a third of the food we eat and 80 per cent of flowering plants – many fruit, veg and crops that feed livestock depend on bees to pollinate them.
Is there no end to their talents and uses?
Their importance is so great, that it has been estimated that if wild bees disappeared, it could cost UK farmers £1.8bn a year to pollinate crops manually - that’s no small number, we’re sure you’ll agree.
Sadly though, the bee population is depleting. Since 1900, the UK has lost 13 species of bee, and a further 35 are considered to be under threat of extinction - something we rarely think about when batting them away from our picnic spread.
Luckily, there are lots of ways we can wade into the cause to save bees without venturing the hive ourselves, and we’ve rounded up all the best ways to do so from your home (and get something stylish or useful in the process).
6 products that help support our bees
Warner's Honeybee Flavoured Gin | £35.99 from Majestic
Released in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) to protect Britain's pollinators, this gin contains 28 botanicals, including lavender, rose and a dollop of honey from its own beehives.
Lavender Bumblebee Tote Bag | £15 from The Bumblebee Conservation Trust
Replace single-use plastic bags with this 100% organic tote – it's durable enough to carry your everyday essentials and a beautiful, striking print.
The Bumblee Conservation trust donates a proportion of every sale to the charity, so by buying one of the many products on the site, you are helping to protect the future of the bees.
Wildlife World Solitary Bee Hive | £28.93 from Amazon
This unique solitary beehive is designed specifically to attract non-swarming bees like the Red Mason Bee and Leafcutter bees.
Solitary bees do not swarm, are gregarious and safe around children and pets. These bees are naturally attracted to holes in wood and the Wildlife World Solitary Beehive provides habitat that has become harder to find in modern gardens.
The Good Bee: A Celebration of Bees - And How to Save Them | £4 from Amazon
This wonderful book offers a positive and accessible read for anyone looking to understand more about bees and what we can do to help them.
One reader said: “One of the best wildlife books I've read for a while - packed with information, beautiful to look at and the perfect gift for any nature lover.”
Beevive Bee Revival Kit | £14.50 from Oliver Bonas
If you’ve ever come across a struggling bee and been unsure how to save it then this adorable kit contains everything you’ll need.
This bee revival keyring will ensure you’re well-equipped with the essential solution (a mix of sugar and water) to help tired bees survive, wherever you go.
The Scottish Bee Company Scottish Heather Honey | £7.95 from The Scottish Bee Company
Buying honey from independent brands helps local beekeepers cover costs of protecting bees.
While it might be a little more expensive than a shop bought alternative, this Scottish Heather honey is rich in flavour and award-winning for a reason.
Plus, 10p from every jar of honey purchased is donated to the charity.