The ecological truth from rising energy costs
4 August 2022
You would never naturally think of how rising energy costs could impact our ecology. Most would argue that rising costs and sadly everything that comes with it such as inflation and increasing interest rates would dampen the economy and therefore our environment will get a bit of a respite due to lower productivity, right?
We would argue that it could also have a detrimental affect based on our own experiences. Like everyone else in the country as beekeepers we are faced with rising costs in all manner of areas, but none more prominent than those found in energy and fuel. Whilst we produce most of our own daytime energy needs we cannot get around without using a vehicle, and bees need regular care and attention to survive fully and continue the next generation.
We mitigate the environmental impact of the CO2 released when driving around, but the financial cost increases, same as for everyone else. One of the toughest decision we have had to make this year is to close a few of our apiaries in order to keep costs down as with each month this becomes more difficult to absorb until we can open them again. We will continue not to seek gimmicky ‘adopt a bee’ strategies or ‘sponsor a beehive’ as we feel this is just the behaviour of charlatans (if you’ve adopted a beehive try taking it away) as we are not a charity nor is any other beekeeper.
With fewer apiaries there are fewer bees being located out in nature, in a habitat where pollinators are declining already. We pride ourselves on a holistic approach environmentally to the business but this is now under strain. What’s the impact? Fewer bees means fewer pollinators and fewer pollinators do not help those minor genetic changes to our plants that can help them to adapt to a changing environment. The ability for plants to change is essential to try and mitigate the costs of man, but this takes time. For the last 50+ million years pollinators have been key here.
This means that we all lose out both on a human day to day living level and in the future ecologically. We are just a small business and play a small part, but other commercial beekeepers are probably facing the same problems. Farmers in general are facing the same problems, and that would include the security of our food production.
For a brief newsletter it is hard to put a silver lining on this and be more positive. But sometimes hard hitting facts need to be just that. We cannot gloss over how damaging this impending recession will be. It wont just be a financial recession, but an ecological one.