Welcome to the Council’s dedicated site to Bees. This site has been set up to raise awareness of the rapid decline in the Bee population not only in Newcastle and the UK, but in Europe and throughout the globe.
Our bees are disappearing and we don’t quite know why!
Our beehives have suffered massive losses in the last few years largely due to a disease spread by the parasitic varroa mite. Other factors blamed for the decline include the loss of habitat like wild flower meadows, climate change, pesticide use and a mysterious condition known as "Colony Collapse Disorder".
Bees are dying and colonies are being lost at an alarming rate. This is very worrying as the pollination of crops by honeybees is worth an estimated £200 million each year to the British economy.
Why do we need bees?
In order for plants to produce fruit and seeds their flowers must be pollinated.
Bees are responsible for the pollination of more than 40 important food crops grown in this country.
Apples, pears, cherries, raspberries, blackcurrants, melons, and blackberries are just some of the fruits that are pollinated by bees. Many other crops such as beans, tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins’ need bees for pollination. We eat the roots and leaves of plants like turnips, cabbage, beetroot, carrots and celery but without pollination we would have no seeds to grow new plants.
Oilseed rape and sunflowers produce seeds to be crushed to make cooking oils.
Farm animals also feed on plants pollinated by bees, such as clover and swede. It is estimated that 1/3 of the food that we eat relies on bees for pollination.
So how can we help the humble bee?
To help stop the decline in the bee population there are lots of things you can do to help.
If you spot a bumble bee or one of their nests please can you register this at the following website www.eyeproject.org.uk
Plants to attract bees (pdf 24kb)
Build them a Home (pdf 1.4mb)
Gardening for Bumblebees (pdf 344kb)
Suggested Flowers for Bumblebees (pdf 22kb)
Native Food Plants for Bees (pdf 16kb)
We would like to know more.
Letter from Nigel Hails (pdf 106 kb)
Complete the Bee Keeper Notification Form (pdf 23kb)
Got a question you want answered by a beekeeper, then click here to ask them a question. You will be emailed a response back and it will also appear in the FAQ so check there to see if it hasn't been asked first already!
Some of the most rewarding and beneficial work on raising awareness around Bees has been carried out is with the Schools in the city. The children of Newcastle have thoroughly enjoyed getting involved in learning about the problems facing the Bee population. They have learnt to respect bees and have created gardens with Bee friendly flora. Some schools are interested in having their own hives and having talks from local Bee Keepers. All this work is to ensure that the adults of the tomorrow understand the importance of and how to respect our Bee population. For more information go to our schools page.
A bumble bee garden exists including 100 native plants in a special section. High quality signage has been ordered and should arrive in March. This signage explains the bumble bee cycle along with a list of bee friendly flowers. The allotment is open on Saturday’s to visitors. For more information go to www.moorsideallotments.co.uk
For more information go to www.purehoneycomb.co.uk
Bee ID Guide (pdf 458kb)
Join the Newcastle and Dsitrict Beekeepers Group on:
Page last updated: 16 August, 2011