Here at Mackays, we like to keep an eye out on things that are happening in the local area. This might be in the community, in business or perhaps in our precious landscape too. We were rather interested to see recently that Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks have made a promise to look after the local bee population. Particularly around their construction sites throughout Caithness.
But why you may ask? The humble bumblebee is on the decline. In fact, it is thought that the numbers have gone down as much as 90% in the past 50 years. This is all down to habitat loss. However, it seems that here in Caithness and spreading out into Orkney, there are plenty of bees to be found in the fields and in the coastal areas too.
This is all down to the rich grassy meadows that are absolutely jam-packed with gorgeous flowers. All things that the bees need to survive. This means it comes as no surprise that SSEN wants to take care of the bees.
But why? What makes bees so important?
One of the most important things that bees do is they pollinate the flowers around the UK. Without them doing this, there is a good chance that the number of flowers would decrease as they would need to rely on the wind alone to carry their pollen around and pass them onto new flowers. Not only this, but there would be a much less even distribution too, leading to the flowers all being confined to one area, rather than spread around the countryside.
They help grow food too
It isn’t only flowers that bees are responsible for helping to pollinate, they are also vital in the growing process of a number of the local fruits and vegetables too. This includes things such as cucumbers, blueberries, almonds, cranberries and broccoli.
They make the world look beautiful
Because bees spread flowers all around, they are key to the local landscape looking as bright and colourful as it does. Without them buzzing around, the grasslands and meadows would definitely look a little on the bare side.
There would be no honey
Who doesn’t love honey? Whether you use it recipes, drizzle it on yoghurt or lather it on toast, there is plenty of uses for this glorious sticky stuff, and if there were no bees, then there would be no honey either!
It might be coming up to Winter when bees are not seen around as much, but this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t start thinking about how best to look after them. Best of all, if you want to get up close and personal with the bees of Caithness, then why not pay us a visit? Not only will you get to see them up close and personal, but you will also get a chance to stay in our little hive. We may even have a pot of local honey or two for you to try!