Bee Happy Plants joins organic push

The Soil Association and Bee Happy Plants joined forces for the Start@Kew event last weekend to persuade the public to create bee-friendly gardens and to go organic.

Bee Happy Plants managing director Sarah Holdsworth encouraged people to buy bee-friendly plants to boost dwindling bee populations. She said varieties such as Melittis melissophyllum (honey-scented balm), Vicia cracca and Geranium pratense (meadow crane's-bill), which have become a scarce sight in the countryside, were all bee-friendly choices.

Holdsworth added: "Without bees there would be no natural fruit or plants. Imagine a world where fruit must be hand-pollinated with a paintbrush. A bag of apples could cost £100."

She blamed neonicotinoids, a class of insecticides that acts on the central nervous system of insects, for honey-bee colony collapse. Although there has been no scientific proof of damage to the bee population from neonicotinoids, some countries have already banned the use of certain variations.

No bee-friendly plants were for sale because of Kew's disease prevention rules.


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