Last Friday, the Member of Parliament for Eastleigh, Mims Davies, visited local bee-keeper, Jerry Hall, to see his bee hives, meet his bees and learn more about these vital insects ahead of Bees Needs Week which runs until the 14th July and aims to help raise awareness of bees and other pollinators. The National Week is coordinated by DEFRA, working alongside charities, businesses, conservation groups and academic institution, and is part of the National Pollinator Strategy in England's wider work for bees and other pollinators.
As pollinators, bees play a key part in every aspect of the ecosystem. They support the growth of trees, flowers, and other plants, which serve as food and shelter for creatures large and small. Bees contribute to complex, interconnected ecosystems that allow a diverse number of different species to co-exist.
Reflecting on the visit, local Eastleigh MP Mims Davies said:
“I receive hundreds of emails from people concerned about the well-being of our bees, noting the importance of their existence within the ecosystem and that’s why I wanted to experience and learn more about them and how bee-keepers look after them. I freely admit to being VERY excited to put on a bee suit and visit see Jerry’s Bees and the hives up close!
“It was absolutely fascinating to learn about how bee colonies are created with the Queen bee literally at the centre of the hive, the roles of all the worker bees, the lazy drones and the amazing figure-eight waggle dance! This is literally a ‘dance’ to communicate where other bees can find flowers with good nectar and pollen, water sources, or new nest-site locations.
“We can all help to support our bees by creating bee-friendly environments; planting flowers and shrubs that attract the bees into our gardens or herbs such as chives in small pots on the window-sill. Inexpensive bee blocks can be created to encourage bees to colonise and supporting our local bee keepers is really important.
“There is no doubting the importance of bees not only to our ecosystem but also to our own food supply, and having worked with Ministers at DEFRA I know their commitment to protecting our pollinators, and agree with campaigners that we must continue to push ourselves on this issue. Without them, our gardens would be bare and our plates empty.”
Local bee-keeper, Jerry Hall commented:
“I was delighted to show Mims around my bee hives and explain how colonies are created and function. Keeping bees is a wonderful hobby and many people are interested in these insects, which are so crucial to our ecosystem. I’m always happy to talk about bees and of course, the honey produced is really tasty and good for your health!”
As Eastleigh’s MP, Mims has always looked to support local hobby groups and volunteers. If you would like Mims to visit your organisation please email email@example.com