To bee or not to bee, that is the question - and it's a very important one. Bees play a vital role in pollinating our flowers, fruit and vegetables. Not only that, but our relationship with the bee is one of our oldest relationships with any other animal on this planet. In the last half-a-century this ancient partnership has been threatened as pesticides, disease and habitat loss have seen bee numbers tumble. But by farming organically and turning our gardens into biologically diverse spaces, we can create habitats in which pollinators will thrive. This summer, the Soil Association and Pukka are celebrating the power of nature and we’d love you to join us by getting involved in our #BeeOrganic campaign. Keep scrolling to discover why organic farming is better for nature and how you can help the bees.
Bees are one of the world’s most marvellous creatures; velvet beauties no larger than a marble, powdered with pollen. They hum and dip across your garden or chart a high meander through an orchard of apple trees, darting from flower to flower, poking their heads into petals to find nectar and pollen. In return, the bees help the flowers by spreading their pollen. This is called pollination. Many plants would not be able to fertilise without bees and other pollinators, so this relationship is symbiotic as both bee and flower help each other to reproduce and succeed. In fact, one-third of the food we eat depends on pollinators, so their work is incredibly important for humans too
Tanya Hawkes founded Therapi Honey Skincare with the simple aim of making bees central to everything she produced. To this end, at least 5% of her profits are donated to bee conservation projects. Alongside running Therapi, Tanya is a practicing bee keeper; she sees the enormous benefits that organic farming and pesticide-free wildflowers have for our bees, insects and wildlife. Listen to Tanya’s plea for a more diverse landscape that would better suit the needs of our pollinators.
If you want to help the bees, there are plenty of things you can do at home. Here are our top five tips: 1) Shop for certified organic food. 2) Create a buzzing garden. 3) Avoid using pesticides in your garden. 4) Join and help the bees. 5) Write to or tweet your MP.
This summer we're working with Pukka to change the world one cup of organic tea at a time. Pukka and the Soil Association encourage you to celebrate the power of nature in our everyday lives – from opening our eyes to the hidden treasures lying within our hedgerows, to ensuring all our gardens are bursting with bee-friendly wildflowers and herbs.
At this time of year, hedgerows are bustling with activity, with everything from the scurrying bank vole to the harvest mouse, foraging bats to buzzing bees. Biologically diverse, hedgerows are filled with all manner of wildlife, whether it is the instantly recognisable elderflower, with its elegant white flowers, or the thorny bramble, with its autumnal berries and abundant nectar. Hedgerows have provided a sanctuary for many of our native species for thousands of years however this safe haven is now, itself, under threat.
The wildflowers, shrubs and herbs, prevalent within our hedges provide nourishment for our most beautiful and important butterflies, bees and birds. Jessica Law gives her pick of the most useful and widespread herbs hiding in Britain’s borders and hedgerows.
Celebrate the power of nature in our everyday lives with Pukka and the Soil Association by ensuring our gardens are safe havens for our treasured pollinators. Herbs are a fantastic way to attract bees and other pollinating insects. If you want to spice up your life with a bit of nature – whether it’s a windowsill or a garden verge then herbs are the way to go. The Soil Association's Head of Horticulture, Ben Raskin, gives his expert advice on his top pick of grow-at-home herbs.
We talked to Joe, an organic farmer, who’s been trialling crop-side ‘beetle banks’ to attract more beneficial pollinators to his farm. Joe talks about how organic farming creates a system that allows wildlife and farming to work in harmony.
Organix, a provider of organic children’s food, has launched a three year initiative in the UK called Bee Careful, which is all about bee research and education. Bee Careful considers how honey isn’t the only product that comes from bees. Read about other ‘forgotten’ products: pollen, bee glue, wax or royal jelly.
It’s hard to think of bees without also thinking of a jar full of honey. To celebrate the glorious golden goop, our friends at Daylesford Organic Farm have shared some of their top honey-inspired recipes…
When you buy organic food, you're also helping bees. Research shows that the average, plant, insect and bird life is 50% more abundant on organic farms. So, if you want to support our native wildlife when on your weekly shop or looking for presents for loved ones, look out for the logo and choose organic. #BeeOrganic
Together we can develop solutions that keep our wildlife thriving. There are many ways that you can help. With you behind us we can make bold, ambitious steps towards real change.