Our activities change the world around us. Agriculture, industry, and urban development all make their contribution to the negative impact we have on the planet.
Bees are affected through the destruction and degradation of their habitats, through the action of pollution on the environment and through our use of insecticides.
Our negative effect on bees happens at all scales - replacing garden lawns (good for mining bees) with patio, growing nectar and pollen-poor plants that offer no food, and 'tidying' garden areas removing nesting sites for bumblebees and solitary bees all have their part to play in the bigger picture.
Climate change is already causing species to shift their range and habits. The violet carpenter bee, a European species, is now breeding in the UK and bumblebees are being seen throughout the winter in some areas, something that may affect their ability to resist parasites. Although climate change is a natural part of the Earth's history, and bees have survived many different climate shifts in the past, they have never had to adapt against a background of habitat destruction and chemical pollution.
There are more than 20,000 described species of bee and although they have a diverse rage of habitats and habits, they all fundamentally require the same things - a safe place to build their nest, an adequate supply of pollen and nectar, and an environment free from insecticides. Our actions are taking these basic needs away - and we need to act now to reverse the well-documented decline in bee numbers and bee diversity (the number of species present in an area).