While the medical community is struggling to combat the dangerous COVID-19 and flatten the curve, and we are all struggling to adjust to the measures issued by authorities, Nature seems to enjoy the lockdown.
The stay-at-home period has dramatically reduced pollution and traffic, which in turn improved air quality and the environment in general. Apparently, the lower pollution levels have been beneficial for bees as well.
Trevor Dines, Plantlife’s Botanical Specialist explains:
“An unintended but understandable consequence of lockdown may be reduced mowing that has the potential to benefit wild plants and the bees, butterflies, birds, bats, and bugs that depend on them for survival.”
I took these on 4/11, but our honey bees are THRIVING rn. These little creatures are so sensitive to everything but in the middle of a pandemic ours have been doing better than they ever have in the past 8 years. #SavetheBees bc we’d be in worse shape than we are now w/o them. pic.twitter.com/62s0IEyKq9
— Hannah (@gracehannah317) May 13, 2020
Mark Brown, professor of evolutionary ecology at Royal Holloway, University of London, says:
“In a world with less air pollution, bees can make shorter and more profitable ‘shopping trips’, and this may help them rear more young.
This unexpected profusion of flowers may well be another benefit for bees, with the unexpected food they provide boosting bee populations.”
Helen McGregor, a beekeeper from Denrosa Apiaries, a thriving bee community based in Coupar Angus, Perth and Kinross, which has a great impact on the agriculture-based economy of the rural Scottish area, explains:
“Less traffic, less pollution is bound to make a difference to the environment which of course has a positive knock-on effect for bees.
I think people are more aware of what’s going on around them and in the countryside just now because of lockdown. Hopefully, we see these changes lasting.”
Photo by: John Campbell pic.twitter.com/LKdlCfizzO
— Terrestria: The Earth’s Brand (@TerrestriaTEB) May 16, 2020
Her family has owned the bee farm since the 1940s. It has 4,000 hives, each one with approximately 50,000 bees.
She adds that the lockdown has also changed the culture among the locals:
“They are more aware of nature, maybe seeing hives when they are out and about and thinking more about the food they are eating and where it comes from. It’s taking people back to their roots, making them look at what’s necessary for life and what’s not, it’s back to a basic outlook on life.”
Great news! We are now hosting 100,000 bees on our farm to pollinate our honeyberry crop, oil seed rape & more thanks to our new collaboration with @calluna4u of Denrosa Apiaries 🐝 🌼 #naturalfarming #sustainablefarming #bees #workingwithnature @nffnuk pic.twitter.com/AhR8Yimxks
— Lunan Bay Farm (@LunanBayFarm) April 18, 2020
So, we should all BEE thankful for these effects of the lockdown!