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THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 27

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Most importantly they pollinate most of the food sources on the planet. Without this the earth’s food supply starts to dwindle.

What’s a solitary bee? Unlike honey bees which live in highly organised and social colonies, solitary bees live alone and come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. They’re useful in the garden and great pollinators. These bees nest in the earth, dead wood or other insect’s holes. They’re generally active earlier in the year than other bees. It’s well worth planting to attract them and creating shelters to house them.

Why are bees in peril? There are many reasons for the decline in bee numbers. Including, the destruction of natural habitats and food sources; so that bees become tired (and therefore weak) looking for places to colonise or feed. The European or Asian hornets kill bees and so trapping hornets is encouraged. However, the parasitic Varroa mite is the worst bee enemy. Chemical pesticides are also very harmful, some very toxic pesticides have already destroyed billions of bees! Man’s choice of agricultural methods has made him one of the bee’s greatest enemies.

What can we all do to help? To redress this decline, we need to: Make our gardens more bee-friendly. Garden without pesticides. Support beekeepers and consume local produce. Encourage others to do the same! We can also all ‘make a date’ (or even a few dates) with the bees perhaps one between the 15th and 24th June. This is when you may notice a national campaign running urging everyone to plant melliferous flowers. Plants such as, borage, rape, calendula, hyssop, phacelia, lavender, white mustard, and many others. Many local gardencentres will be getting involved and advising about the best plants for bees. This is the 2nd year of the campaign, organised by Observatoire Français d’Apidologie. Information will be available on www.flowersforbees.com. If everyone just takes a little time during the campaign to plant one or two specific plants, we will be all helping to halt the bee’s demise. By Valérie Rousseau

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Périgord Local • May - June 2018

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The Périgord Local Issue 2 May - June 2018  

The free regional magazine for the ‘English speaking’ people, their businesses & the limitless culture of the ancient Périgord region of Fra...

The Périgord Local Issue 2 May - June 2018  

The free regional magazine for the ‘English speaking’ people, their businesses & the limitless culture of the ancient Périgord region of Fra...