Life in the Meadow: Bees, Is An Exploration of Wild Bees of All Sorts, That Make Their Homes In Meadows and Along Roadside Verges.
Bees is the first in a series of videos produced by Moor Meadows. We are aiming to include their videos in this Meadows series as we explore the rich biodiversity that meadows and verges can support. In the Sid Valley, we have a wealth of meadow diversity from riverside meadows to biodiverse cliff tops. Plus the roadside verges are increasingly being recognised as important to biodiversity. All these environments support specific plant and animal communities but we will find bees in each of them.
16,00 Bee Species
Most of us will recognise the honey bee (Apis mellifera) and know that it is an essential pollinator and produces the honey found in shops. But did you know that there are perhaps as many as 16,000 species of bee in the world? Some are solitary species. Others live in huge colonies with as many as 80-100,000 worker bees and a single queen bee. All bees are members of the Apoidea superfamily and they are related to wasps and ants.
Bees feed on pollen and nectar and so visit flowers which in return for the pollen and nectar get pollinated. This makes some bee species commercially important. Mankind has kept bees from at least Egyptian times and certainly harvested honey long before that. This makes bees one of the long-established species to have been farmed by humans. Bees are found on every continent except Antarctica.
In recent years, due to the increase of pesticides and pollution plus habitat decrease, the number of bees have decreased. Between 1980 and 2013 research indicates that bees have been lost from a quarter of the places they used to be found.
With bees being so essential and their numbers decreasing, the creation of meadows and court management of roadside verges is a certain way in which we can help change the downward trend.
In this video, John discusses Furrow bees, Warerdropwort Mining bees, Redtailed Bumblebees, Short – fringed Mining bees and others.