Celebrating bees, the world's greatest pollinators
20th July 2017
This month we are joining our friends at the Soil Association to celebrate bees the most important pollinators in the world, who play such a huge part in helping us to create so many of our organic herbal teas and supplements.
Did you know that the flowering herbs we use in many of our blends (such as echinacea, fennel, rose hip, chamomile and tulsi) are 100% bee-pollinated? Also, we wouldn’t be able to make a single tea bag of our Feel New tea (fennel seed, aniseed, celery seed and coriander seed) without the help of bees, full stop, it simply wouldn’t be possible.
These incredible insects are so very important to us (and hopefully you too).
So how do we help the organic growers we work with ensure that their farming practices are creating havens for bees?
To meet EU organic standards, organic farmers must help to promote and enhance agro-ecosystem health through their practises, which includes biodiversity. When our team visits a farm, this is one of the first things they are looking to find.
“If you walk into a field and its thriving with wildlife and bees, it gives you a good indication that this really is a good ecological system that’s clean with no pesticides", explains Marin Anastasov, from our herbal sourcing team (not to mention avid bee keeper), "If it was poisoned, these animals are not going to be there.”
Studies have shown that organic farms contain on average 75% more species of plants and significantly more wildflowers than non-organic farms. More wildflowers, means a lot more bees and pollinators (50% more on average to be precise) bringing with it the long-lasting benefits that such rich biodiversity offers.
Bees have mechanisms to communicate nectar sources within the colony. So, Marin explains, "if you have a colony of 50 – 60,000 bees and one of them discovers a flower, she’ll come back to the colony and communicate to all the other members about this source of nectar.
If the nectar source is particularly rich, the entire colony will be travelling back and forth foraging. They’re very efficient in finding nectar sources.”
Bees are such incredible little creatures and we couldn't be more thankful for the hand (or wing) they lend in helping to create our delicious, organic herbal blends. They help to shine a light on just how important it is that we take time to be mindful of the relationship between plants and animals as well as our own needs.
When things are well with the bees, things are well with Mother Nature.
Get the buzz on bees
For simple ways that you can help support honey bees (including growing bee-friendly herbs at home), visit the Soil Association's official website. You can also send us your 'bee-utiful'#BeeOrganic photos on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for the chance to win plenty of Pukka prizes.