Alderney: Bees of Alderney

Our Alderney Bees edition features beautifully detailed artwork depicting a variety of bee species pictured within Alderney settings.

A hint at the bee’s habits is often given by its “common name” and this is demonstarted well in a number of the bees featured in this issue.

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We must be thankful to these tiny insects; as bees pollination is vital to our food chain, one third of the food we eat would not be available but for bees. However; somewhat worryingly bees are disappearing at an unprecedented rate. It is easy to forgot that bees don’t just make honey; they pollinate more than 90 of the flowering crops we realy on for food. 

Among them: apples, nuts, pears, avoados, soybeans, asparagus, broccoi, celery, squash, tomatoes, sunflowers and cucumbers. Along with citrus fruit, peaches, kiwis, cherries, blueberries, cranberries, stwberries and melons. 

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Crops like oilseed rape (increasingly used in biofuels), alfalfa, peas, runner beans and broadbeans alsorely on visits by bees and other pollinating insects to improve the quality and quantity of fruits and seeds produced.

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This decline in bee numbers is largely due to loss of wild habitats, intensive farming and overuse of pesticides and hericides. The simple truth is that bees need flowers, and there are very few flowers to be found in the farmed countryside these days.

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All is not lost though, farmers can join environmental schemes and plant bee-friendly “pollen and nectar” strips alongside hedgerows and we all have an individual role to play too – by planting the right flowers, our gardenscould do a huge amount to help restore bees’lost habitats.

So if we want to continue eating the same foods that we have known for generations then we need to give more thought to the role that bees play in the food chain.

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taken from "The Philatelic New, Februar 2009 Vol.8 No.9"
 Guernsey Post

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