One third of the UK bee population has disappeared over the past decade.
One third. In just TEN years!
We know honey bees are good for wildlife, they support the growth of trees, flowers and other plants, and without them, we'd miss out on juicy treats including apples, melons, cranberries and asparagus.
Bees pollinate around 35% of food crops and 90% of wild plants, so the decline in numbers has had a big impact on wildlife, the environment and food production.
So here at Callestock we've taken steps to help our little buzzy friends in their stripey jumpers.
Ben joined the crusade by clearing some space and preparing the ground on the grass verge just outside the cottages.
Grandad helped by overseeing the planting of a pear tree, plum tree, cherry tree and damson tree, which flower in early Spring with beautiful colourful blossom. They can take a couple of years to bear fruit, but their fragrant flowers are a big hit with honey bees right away.
The 200 year-old wisteria at Callestock Courtyard continues to delight. But it's not just us and the guests who love this annual display of colour... the bees also adore the fragrant blooms and often pop by the farm in the Spring to sample a little of the protein-rich pollen.
There's plenty to go round!
The purple-blue colour of the Spring bluebell is another hit with bumblebees.
With the unseasonably warm weather, the wild bluebells in Cornwall have burst into flower early, flooding the woodlands and hedgerows with colour. If you're quick, there's still time to catch the Bluebell Festival at Enys Gardens near Falmouth.
If you'd like to help the bee population thrive in your local area, here are a few little actions that could make a big difference:
1. Leave the lawn - bees love clover and dandelions, so resist the mower, put the weed killer away, and let nature take its course. A super short and manicured lawn deprives bees of a natural meadow, so put your feet up and help save the bees.
2. Add some fragrance to your garden - we know bees love wisteria and fruit trees, but these can take a while to flower. Take a shortcut to providing a tasty bee-buffet and plant some other suitable fast-growing plants such as lavender, mint, crocuses and bluebells.
3. Create a drinking station for bees - it's hot and thirsty work when you're pollinating and producing honey all day. Give the bees somewhere to recharge in your garden with a small bird bath full of water, perhaps adding some pebbles and sticks for them to land on.
4. Create a mini wildflower meadow - choose an area of your garden where the grass is left to grow long and tall. Lift the turf and scatter wildflower seeds randomly underneath. Over the Spring and Summer your wildflowers will burst into life, giving bees and other pollinating insects some valuable nutrition.
5. Create a bee hotel - there's always room at the Callestock Bee Hotel!
Make your own with bird box or cylinder. filled with hollow bamboo canes, and hang in the sunshine at least a metre off the ground.
We love our new fruit trees, and the wisteria is more impressive every year - come and see for yourself with a short break at Callestock Courtyard Cottages over one of the May Bank Holidays.
The Bee Hotel may have vacancies but after record numbers headed to the coast over the Easter scorcher, we're filling fast so book now to secure your chosen property and dates at Callestock.