Hello and a very warm welcome to you. We really hope you enjoy our article about the wonders of bees and what we can do to support them.

You can find links at the end to a number of ideas and initiatives to help support these wonderful pollinators.

If you enjoy this week's newsletter please consider sharing with your friends and family. 

The Treehouse Gang

#007 - Bees

Bees and other pollinators play a crucial role in the future of our economy, well-being, and the fight against climate and nature breakdown. These little guys are heroes and put simply: without bees we humans are in serious trouble. Across society we often undervalue nature and what it does for us. The truth is, if we want an economy that provides for everyone’s needs in the long term, we really need to look after bees along with the rest of our natural environment

Friends of the Earth estimate that bees pollinate 75% of our main food crops worldwide, including some of our favourite produce like apples, strawberries and tomatoes. In a world without bees, scientists estimate that it'd cost over £1.8 billion every single year to pollinate UK crops by hand. Feeding ourselves and maintaining the economy would be very difficult. A healthy pollination system translates to a healthy ecosystem. Without bees we would find feeding the planet impossible.

Honey bees are special because they not only pollinate crops, but give us something back: honey. Sustaining honey bee numbers through bee keeping means the pollination of crops and plants to crucially enable us to continue to produce plants and foods, and to make delicious honey.

Happy Valley Honey are a fantastic example of how we can be part of nature and harness all that bees have to offer. The Happy Valley team has about 120 colonies of bees, divided between 10 apiaries (beehives) situated at various points around Macclesfield Borough. The small team work with passion and dedication to ensure the honey produced is direct from the hives with minimum interference from the outside.
I spoke to head beekeeper (Paul) recently up at his colonies. With the gentle background hum of busy bees flying around the hives he described to me “the nature” he witnesses around the hives; “the diversity of birds that visit, the frogs the rodents” making his business “definitely feel part of something bigger”. Happy Valley honey bees forage for nectar and pollen in local fields, gardens and hedgerows, the benefits of which go way beyond the yield of this delicious golden nectar. I don't know a better example of how we can interact in the bigger picture of the natural world.
But bees are in trouble. The changing climate and dwindling areas of nature is disastrous for bees and other pollinators. 13 bee species have become extinct in the UK since 1900 and a further 35 are on the threatened species list. The changes in seasonal weather are causing problems for bees in finding food and places to nest. A staggering 97% of our vital grasslands have been lost in the past 60 years meaning bees have lost some of their most precious habitat.
You can make a huge difference where you live by doing a few simple things. Planting flowers rich in nectar will really help bees find the food they need. Encouraging your friends and neighbours to do the same will help create bee-friendly communities. Asking your local council to stop mowing and strimming every verge during the spring and summer will enable a happier habitat for bees and other crucial pollinators (and will look much nicer too). We were overjoyed to see East Cheshire’s support of the Grimshaw Lane wild flower planting on the Middlewood Way– it’s worth a little look if you live nearby as it is just starting to come into beautiful bloom. Bees are crucial in the countryside but they’re essential in the city too. A wild window box in the middle of the urban jungle has great value. A whole building covered in window boxes is even more useful and would look fantastic.

Choosing local, British honey will lend your support to our honey bees and their beekeepers. Many Bee Keepers are members of the Bee Farmers Association whose key objectives are to recruit more bee farmers and increase pollination to improve crop yields, so by through the enjoyment of local honey (which is also absolutely delicious and full of health benefits) you’ll also be indirectly supporting them. What’s not to love?!

Further Links:

Where to buy:
Happy Valley Honey is available to buy at Scoop & Scales, Macclesfield; and No 74 Delicatessen or JJJ Heathcotes, Bollington.

Cheshire Honey are another local honey company to look out for (see their FB page).


Look at this fantastic and powerful RSPB campaign: and do some shouting about it!

Check out for a step by step account of how to make a bee B&B for your garden


Friends Of The Earth have loads of great resources about bees and ideas on how we can all support our buzzy friends.

Join the Bumblebee Conservation Trust or the British Bee Charity and support the crucial work they do


Sign this: petition to the UK government to help prevent mass extinction


and this!: to stop the use of dangerous pesticides


The Beautiful Bollington Gardening Competition (10th-11th July) - closing date for entries is 6th July.

This month sees the return of the annual global movement Plastic Free July.

Scoop and Scales are looking for volunteers -  if you’d like to have a go at joining the team contact here.

Terracycle Kate has the next dates for sorting Terracycle items, any help appreciated, refreshments provided.

Please share this newsletter with family and friends. If you not already subscribed, click here and you can also view past issues of the newsletter here. If you'd like to help bring The Treehouse to life please get in touch. We are looking for people who'd either like to pitch in with the development of our plan and strategy, or to help organise actions and events to build momentum in the area.
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Treehouse Ecohub · 20 Hurst Lane · Bollington · Macclesfield, Cheshire SK10 5LP · United Kingdom

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