Nature with Nik Mitchell: The unsung hero of the pollinating world

The solitary bee

Thanet nature expert Nik Mitchell, from Minster, runs the Wildlife Conservation in Thanet page on facebook:

Although most people are aware of honeybees and bumblebees, solitary bees are the unsung hero of the pollinating world.

With over 240 species in the UK alone, they make up 90% of the bee population and along with other pollinating animals are responsible for one third of all the food we eat.

Did you know that the average solitary bee can do the equivalent pollination of 80 honey bees?

The insect population of the world is crashing and insects underpin all life on Earth, we have to do something about it.

We can help our solitary bees in 3 main ways

  1. Plant native wildflowers and reduce the amount of weeding and grass cutting that we do
  2. Stop using pesticides. most pesticides kill all insects despite marketing themselves as if they target certain species
  3. Install a bee brick to provide them with a nesting site

Solitary bees are fascinating to watch and a wonderful way to introduce kids to bees, solitary bees have no queen or honey to protect, meaning they are non-aggressive and won’t sting.