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Sometimes it’s the smallest things that have the most influence on the planet. One of the small things that often gets overlooked, and which plays a vital role in our habitat, is the humble bumble bee.

Not just the bumble bee, actually. All breeds of bee. The honey bee, the bumble bee, the solitary bee, every bee has a place of importance, and buzzes from place to place pollinating different plants and trees, and often we forget how important they are.

In recent years, thanks to the pesticides in farming, the destruction of wild habitats and plants, the increased areas of land covered by industry and expanding towns and cities, the numbers of bees of all breeds have plummeted worldwide.

And this is a bigger problem than many people realise. The humble bee is such a key player in the balance of our eco system that they need to be supported and protected, or there could be huge problems for crops, wildlife, animals and people as a result.

We all know that honey bees travel from flower to flower, collecting pollen to turn into honey, but as they’re doing so they’re also pollinating the flowers – helping them to cross pollinate and maintain the plant population.

It isn’t just honey bees; bumble bees pollinate plants and flowers, and solitary bees – the smaller, less known breeds, of which there are a great many – all of them busily keeping our ecosystem going by making sure that plants are pollinated.

The knock on effect of this isn’t just that we have pretty wildflowers – it means that we have plants for food, to source key ingredients in many medicines, and to feed the animals we farm to eat. Without bees those plants would die out, and our own survival would be more difficult.

But what has this got to do with trees? Many trees wind pollinate – so why do they need bees? Well – most fruit trees need bees to cross pollinate. The bees’ hard work ensures that the tree continues to fruit and thrive. But this isn’t just a one way relationship. Bees need trees.

Trees provide a vital food source to most breeds of bee, particularly through the winter months when they aren’t gathering pollen from flowers and plants. This sustains the hive through the months where their other foods are sparse.

Native trees are the most important of all to bees, and should be cared for carefully to sustain this balance. If we continue to remove trees and plant life on the scale we have been to date, and don’t replant or invest care and time in cultivating these areas, bees will continue to die out.

Bees are what is known as a ‘keystone’ species ,and areimages

absolutely vital in an eco-system. It’s important that we all encourage wild flowers and the care of bee habitats, or the knock on effects will show in our own food chain and the agriculture that supports us, with less food for animals and poor crops.

Any advice about anything to do with your tree needs please call Len McKeown 0397362159 or our web page www.lenmckeowntreeservice.com.au

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