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To mark World Bee Day on Thursday (May 20) we have pulled together some amazing facts about these super smart creatures. See how many you already know…
1. Bees can see the colour purple more clearly than any other colour, which is why bluebells, lavender, sweet peas, hardy geraniums, alliums and cornflower are some of the plants they love the most. They are not picky though and are still attracted to other colours. Planting these varieties in your garden is just one of the ways you can help honeybees.
2. Bees can recognise individual human faces. Just like us, they have the same complex cognition that allows us to pick our friends out of a crowd.
3. Pesticides are harmful to bees, impacting their ability to survive. They should be avoided when trying to control pests in your garden.
4. Honeybees gather natural resins from tree buds and parts of plants and combine it with their saliva, pollen and beeswax to make propolis. This seriously cool substance is used by bees to construct and repair their hives and has been used by humans for thousands of years for its medicinal properties.
5. Not work shy, honeybees on average visit around 100 flowers in a single trip, between 10-15 times a day.
6. Bees often produce more honey than they need, especially if they are given sufficient space to store it.
7. Beekeepers wear white to keep bees calm. Honeybees become defensive and attack when they are approached by animals which are a threat to the hive, but these predators are not white.
How can you help honeybees?
By making a few changes to your gardening habits from mowing less and loving your weeds to planting a range of native plants in your garden that flower at different times of the year, you can help contribute towards reversing the decline of these important pollinators.