Today is World Bee Day, and we are not only celebrating bees, but also the start of #PolliNationSA.
Bee on a Cosmos flower
WORLD BEE DAY
World Bee Day takes place on the 20th of May each year and is an important day that raises awareness around bees and recognises how integral bees are to our planet’s sustainability.
Lear more here!
Our #PolliNationSA hashtag page in Candide
Through #PolliNationSA, we aim to recruit 100 000 South Africans to become pollinators by encouraging them to have at least one bee-friendly plant in their garden, on their stoep or in their windowsill.
By participating and posting, the #PollinationSA movement aims to educate people and make them more aware of the importance of bees, and especially more aware of bee-friendly plants all around them.
We want to show that everyone can make a difference by taking part in this positive movement initiative by showing them how they can take action, and how easy this is to do. Each and every one of us can play an important role in our own food security one bee-friendly plant at a time.
For the bees
At Candide, we’re devoted to helping gardeners create nurturing spaces in all shapes and forms and our beloved bees are an integral part of this mix. Planting many different flowering herbs, plants, shrubs, and trees provides an abundance of food for these pollinator powerhouses.
There’s no underestimating the importance of having a healthy bee population. It’s an indisputable fact: we need bees to survive. They pollinate more than a third of all our food crops (that’s one in three mouthfuls) and around 90% of wildflowers.
Modern industrial agriculture, chemical pesticides, mono-cropping, habitat loss, disease, and climate change have had a massive impact on bee numbers around the world. That apple a day, those carrots and cucumbers would all be gone, along with many dietary items, if our bees disappeared.
HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED
Plant a bee-friendly tree, a pot of basil on your windowsill ... or fill your garden with flowers.
Register as a pollinator
Take a picture of your bee-friendly plant and share it as a post on Candide with the hashtag #PolliNationSA.
Create a buzz
Help us spread the word to recruit as many pollinators as possible throughout South Africa by also sharing your posts on social media, with friends and family, and remember to tag us @candideappza.
STEPS TO BECOME A POLLINATOR
- Take a picture of a bee-friendly plant. Have a look at these collections in our KNOWLEDGE tab for some inspiration.
- Share this picture in a post using the hashtag #PolliNationSA.
- Once posted, you’ll receive a #PolliNationSA icon that will be added to your Candide profile pic confirming your pollinator status and you will also be added to our countrywide map on our #PolliNationSA hashtag page.
A movement encouraging South Africans to grow bee-friendly plants and to become more aware of bees.
BEE SPECIES IN SOUTH AFRICA
We have an incredible diversity of indigenous bee species. There are approximately 1400 bee species in southern Africa, ranging from social bees that live in colonies to solitary bees that make their nests in the ground, resin or wood tunnels, and even kleptoparasitic bees that lay their eggs in other bees’ nests (‘cuckoo’ bees).
Bees are divided into 10 families, of which 6 occur in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Plasterer bees (Colletidae), collectively known as ‘cellophane’ bees, nest in hollow twigs or tunnels in the ground.
- Mining bees (Andrenidae) nest in burrows in the ground.
- Sweat bees (Halictidae) are some of the commonest bees and display a diverse spectrum of social behaviour and can range from strictly solitary to eusociality.
- Oil-collecting bees (Melittidae) are small and mostly solitary, ground-nesting bees. A majority of species in this family are specialist pollinators which means they show a strong preference for a handful of genera or a family of flowering plants.
- Leaf-cutting bees (Megachilidae) are brown or black and quite stout in their build. This family also includes a few ‘cuckoo bees’ and the non-cleptoparasitic female bees carry pollen on the abdomen instead of on the hind legs.
- The Apidae family includes our two honeybee subspecies (Cape honeybee and African honeybee) and the solitary Carpenter bee (Xylocopa caffra), a large, robust bee that makes its home in wood tunnels.