What does a bee-friendly landscape look like?
“It will no longer be possible to fulfil our duties. And because of this, for you human beings life will become more difficult.” I felt this was what the colonies were saying at the end of winter 2012. A wake-up call to improve the living conditions of our bees.
Where bees can thrive our health is guaranteed
Everything we are offered by the bees has been taken up and tested in their own bodies. For three weeks, the young bee lives in almost total darkness. Even so, it ‘experiences’ through its food (pollen and nectar) the appearance of the landscape surrounding the hive! When at last its own time comes to fly, it takes delight in playing with the sun.
It looks forward to each flower visit, not only because its existence depends on this, but because it ‘knows’ that a diverse food supply for young bees provides the best possible health. How very different is a landscape with colourful crops, to that of a dismal ‘green desert’! The bee will fertilize both with equal ardour, but the latter will lead to a weakening and degeneration of the colony.
The bee as landscaper
As a sacred and healing organism, the bee colony has many tasks. Among others, it covers landscapes with an invigorating energy. Through the fertilization of flowers, bees promote ripening and thus are an essential part in the creation of a vibrant and varied landscape. In areas with unbalanced or even destroyed landscapes, bees can no longer perform their tasks, causing them to suffer. Their diseases and mortality send a clear message: Human beings are responsible for the survival of these highly developed social creatures.
The landscape as visiting card
Historically, the landscape serves as a business card for those who live there. In earlier times, people did not experience their own being in themselves, but in their respect for the landscape. The landscape was seen as a whole. Today, after a period of devastation, the need is growing again for a personal relationship with the landscape, now understood as a structured organisation, with mountains, hills, valleys, forests, fields, gardens, lakes. All in the spirit of bees.
Christophe Perret-Gentil, biologist