Upper School English teacher Brenda Clark is committed to the conservation of the natural world. She has put her passion into practice by looking after the beehive in the Fleming Garden.
In anticipation of World Bee Day, Mrs. Clark shares the satisfaction she gets from beekeeping and explains the simple steps you can take to help reverse the decline of bees and its impact on the world's biodiversity and food sources.
and a warm breeze,
I’m a beekeeper. The hum of the hive and the gentle breeze generated by the bees’ wings enthrall me. I have learned to be an acute observer while moving at “bee speed.” Closely observing what is happening in the hive and what the bees are doing helps me see the interconnections within the larger web of the natural world. It is important to make observations and look for connections within the human experience in the outdoors as well. Once humanity understands our connection to what may initially seem to be disparate components of the natural world then sustainable practices will become an integral part of our lives.
Hat and veil
Did you know…
Honeybees in managed hives “are likely responsible for pollinating between 5-15% of the UK's insect-pollinated crops. That leaves 85-95% of the UK’s insect-pollinated crops relying on wild pollinators. Many species of bee, moth, butterfly, hoverfly, fly, and beetle provide an essential service in the UK (and globally) pollinating £690 million worth of crops annually. Taking over this job ourselves would be difficult and time-consuming and would cost us an estimated £1.8 billion every year!” (Wildlife Trusts).
“Britain’s bees are in trouble. 35 UK bee species are under threat of extinction, and all species face serious threats” (Friends of the Earth).
“According to the Center for Biological Diversity, more than half of North America’s 4,000 native bee species are in decline, with 1 in 4 species at risk of extinction” (Bee Conservancy).
with buzzing wings
a bee sips nectar,
World Bee Day is May 20. “This year FAO will celebrate World Bee Day through a virtual event, under the theme ‘Bee Engaged: Celebrating the diversity of bees and beekeeping systems.’ The event featuring bee and pollinator experts and practitioners from across the world will open with a video message by FAO Director-General QU Dongyu. The event will raise awareness on the importance of the wide variety of bees and sustainable beekeeping systems, the threats and challenges they face and their contribution to livelihoods and food systems. The event will be available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Russian languages.” (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations).
liquid shimmer of
What can you do to save the bees?
Plant a bee garden. Grow lots of nectar-rich flowers between March and November.
Go chemical-free. Use organic products and natural solutions in your garden.
Become a citizen scientist. The iNaturalist app is a fun way to join research efforts.
Choose local, British honey to lend your support to our honey bees and their beekeepers. Encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same and help create bee-friendly communities.
Volunteer to help Mrs. Clark with the beehive in the Fleming Garden at TASIS.
Take a look at our Flickr album to see more photos of Mrs. Clark in action.
"10 Ways to Save the Bees." The Bee Conservancy. Accessed 13 May 2022. https://thebeeconservancy.org/10-ways-to-save-the-bees/
"14 Facts you need to know about bees." Friends of the Earth. Accessed 13 May 2022. https://friendsoftheearth.uk/nature/14-facts-you-need-know-about-bees
“The Bee Cause: Are Bees Endangered?” Friends of the Earth. Accessed 16 May 2022. https://friendsoftheearth.uk/bees
“Contribute to Science.” iNaturalist. Accessed 13 May 2022. https://www.inaturalist.org/
“Get Gardening" Butterfly Conservation. Accessed 13 May 2022. https://butterfly-conservation.org/how-you-can-help/get-involved/gardening/get-gardening
“Protecting Bees, Building Habitat, and Strengthening Communities Together.” The Bee Conservancy. Accessed 16 May 2022. https://thebeeconservancy.org/
“What do pollinators do for us?” Wildlife Trusts. Accessed 16 May 2022. https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/savingbees
“World Bee Day | 20 May.” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. https://www.fao.org/world-bee-day/en/