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Bee Kind

Small but mighty, these little insects keep our ecosystems working to perfection – but, they are in danger and need your help

Bees, both bumble and humble, are absolutely vital to our environment. Although they seem to quietly blend into the background, aside from the odd buzz or two, they loyally and dutifully tend to the flowers in our garden. But what makes them so key to our natural world? Bees pollinate flowers, which helps plants reproduce. If this process didn’t happen, there’d be no fruits, vegetables, coffee, chocolate or any resource that derives from a plant. In fact, according to The Guardian, 84 per cent of the crops grown for human consumption (which is around 400 different types of plants) need bees to pollinate them. Yet, sadly these essential yellow and black striped insects are on the decline. There are five UK bee species that are under threat of extinction, and all species face serious threats according to Friends of the Earth ( And it comes as a further blow that recently the European Commission announced they would be delaying the implementation of new bee-saving pesticide testing standards by a full two years – which may well be too late. We’ve made a beeline for these creatures and over the next few pages we’ll explain what you can do to help them.

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About Be Kind

Hello, I can remember a time, not so long ago, when most people I know were afraid of bees. Along with wasps, bees would create carnage when innocently passing through a garden BBQ or picnic, as people dashed to safety, terrified of the striped stinging machines. Now, it seems that everyone loves the humble bumble – they’re viewed with reverence and affection, and their cute and cuddly depiction is worn on necklaces and T-shirts across the country. To say it’s been a turnaround would be an understatement, but why has this happened? Our perception of bees has had to change, but only because their crucial population is under threat and their plight has been brought into the public’s consciousness. We know that we have to protect them at all costs, or it will mean terrible things for mankind. But, how many other animals do we currently disregard, that we’ll only appreciate when they’re in trouble? How many of us look more fondly upon walruses, following Attenborough’s devastating documentary? This month we want to shine a light on non-human animals – the heroes who keep our ecosystems balanced, who help teach our children about the planet, and who bring our communities together. We share this Earth with so many creatures, great and small, all of whom are vital to our existence. But we need to begin to respect and care for them now, not just when the odds are against them. Enjoy the issue, Phillipa Editor