World Bee Day – why are bees so important?

To celebrate World Bee Day, we want to take the time to explore just how important bees really are. Bees have a crucial role to play in all living things. We need bees and other pollinators to pollinate the food that we eat, as well as for the trees and flowers. Bees are important for biodiversity. So why are bees so important? Read on to find out more.


What is pollination?

Insects (like bees) play a key role in helping flowering plants to reproduce. For plants to make seeds, pollen has to get from one plant to another. This process is called pollination. Powdery pollen is stored in a part of the flower called the anther.

Did you know bees also have 6 legs in groups of three? The rear group is to store pollen when flying from flower to flower. Whilst the front group have slots in them for bees to clean their antennas.

Bees are attracted to flowers for their nectar. When they visit, pollen from the anther sticks to them, and they carry it away. When a bee lands on another plant, the pollen rubs off on a part of the flower called the stigma.

A bumblebee may be one of the biggest species of bees, but it only has a brain the size of a poppy seed!


How can you help?

Whether you live in a city or in the country, and whether you have a small balcony or a huge garden, there are several ways that you can help give bees a fighting chance. Here are some ways you can help bees:



If you have a garden, ask an adult if they can leave some of the grass long. If you have a terrace or balcony, you can still help by planting a ‘nectar café’ – a group of bee-friendly plants, like bluebells or primrose in spring. Always have something blooming. There are many types of bees, and they all need a food source, so try growing flowers and plants that bloom at different times of the year. But be careful as some plants can be toxic to bees and the toxins can end up in their honey.

Stop using bee-harming pesticides in your own garden. Try alternative and chemical-free methods or, if you feel you still need to use some, do some research online to find products that are safe for wild insects.


Help a thirsty bee

If a bee is on the ground moving very slowly, it might be a bit dehydrated. This tends to happen in summer when the weather is warmer. Create a bee bath in your garden! Get a small shallow bowl or plate, fill it with water and rocks for the bees to land on to drink. If it’s safe to do so, you can place a spoonful of sugar water near to it for it to drink. This should help it get back in the air soon. And if you want something in your school garden, why not opt for our interactive beehive so your class can see them first-hand?


Support your local beekeeper

Buying honey from a producer where you live helps them to be able to look after their bees, keeping them healthy and thriving.

Fun fact – worker bees only live for five to six weeks! In this time, they produce around a twelfth of a teaspoon of honey.

Support your local industry and claim all the healthy antioxidants from real, local honey. Some research suggests that eating local honey can help your allergies, too!


Test your and your pupils’ knowledge with our quiz below! How many can your class get?


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