Please help NHR Organc Oils support the New Soil Association saving the bees campaign:
|There’s only seven days left to enter our bee-friendly raffle!
If you haven’t bought your raffle tickets then you better get buzzy! You can buy your raffle tickets online now and bee in with a chance of winning a week’s holiday, plus £1000 cash.
If you’re a member and have received tickets in the post you have until Thursday 30 August to return them, alternatively you could buy your tickets online instead.
If you’ve already bought your raffle tickets, then a huge thank you for supporting our campaign to help save the bees.
The plight of the bee
Over the past few years there has been a massive, worldwide drop in bee numbers. In the UK, beekeepers report a one in three loss of bee colonies has occurred. It appears that we could be heading towards a global disappearance of bees. The consequences of this would be dire. It is estimated that one third of human food supplies depend on bee pollination.
What’s causing the deaths is unclear – there is a huge amount of research being done worldwide, and it’s likely that a number of factors may be implicated. One suspect is a group of insecticides called neonicotinoids. These were first used in agriculture in the mid 1990s – at exactly the time when mass bee disappearances started occurring. The evidence against these chemicals is strong enough that they have been suspended or banned in France, Germany and Italy – but not yet in the UK.
Another major problem is the issue of intensive agricultural practices in general. For example, monoculture (where the same crop is grown year after year) and the use of a range of pesticides, including herbicides which kill off plants which bees forage on, can have negative impacts on bee populations.
In contrast, organic farming is based on a system which works with nature, rather than against it. Organic farmers aim to produce good food from a balanced living soil. For example, organic farmers use clover to harness the sun’s solar power to transform nitrogen in the air into soil nutrients, and they place strong emphasis on protecting the environment. Genetically modified crops are banned, and pesticides are avoided.
Take action: ways to help the bees
We want the Government to ban neonicotinoids to help ensure the health and future of our bees. However, there are lots of other simple actions you can take in the meantime to help protect these precious creatures.
- Buy organic food. Organic farmers don’t use neonicitinoid pesticides. They also have more complex crop rotations, which means that there is a greater diversity of plants for bees to forage on. Supporting organic farmers at the checkout is an everyday action with a big impact.
- Write to your MP. Writing to your MP to raise this issue is a powerful way of making your voice heard. More details on writing to your MP.
- Avoid using neonicotinoid pesticides. Better still, urge your local retailer to stop stocking them. Click here for a list of products and letter writing hints.
- Use organic techniques in your own garden. Garden pesticides also have the potential to do damage to bees, and good rotations give an extra diversity of flowering crops. Use a wide variety of plants in your garden, and don’t be too tidy. Leave wild flowering plants in place, and ivy is a particularly important source of late season winter food for bees. Find out more about organic growing techniques.
- Take up beekeeping. If you’ve got the space, then keeping your own colony of bees is a great way of boosting bee numbers. There are some excellent courses available in our Practical courses section. Find out more about beekeeping courses.
- Join the Soil Association. By becoming a member of the Soil Association charity you are helping to fund our campaigning and policy work on this, and a range of other important issues like food security and GM. Join the Soil Association today.
- Support our bee campaign by buying raffle tickets. There are six incredible prizes to be won including an organic holiday and £1,000. Buy raffle tickets here.
Save the bee petition
The Soil Association collected over 20,000 signatures in support of our campaign to suspend neonicotinoid pesticides which Monty Don, Soil Association president, sent to the Government on the last UN World Environment Day.
Find out more