Helping our pollinators< Back to Blog

Bee with lavenderSummer is here and with it comes the inevitable high pollen counts and buzzing of bees and other insects – but what is this season of pollination all about? And, what does it have to do with us here in the construction world?

Let’s start with pollination (the transfer of pollen grains from the male part of a flower to its female counterpart to allow fertilisation). Importantly, it’s this process that creates the natural world we see around us as well as much of the food we enjoy on our plates.

Although some plants depend on pollination via wind or water, many need animals to help – some mammals, birds and reptiles, but largely invertebrates like bees, butterflies, moths, flies and beetles. 80% of the world’s wild flowers rely on insect pollination and around 1/3 of our agricultural crops need pollination to survive.

butterfly tortoiseshell

The problem is that, across the world, populations of these important flying insects are falling, in some cases quite dramatically. Here in the UK, half of our bumblebee species, two thirds of moths and most of our butterfly species are in decline. A combination of intensive farming methods, pesticides, parasites and climate change is taking its toll.

The good news is that there’s lots we can all do to get the pollination problem under control – from actions at a domestic level (like introducing plants that flower at different times of the year within our gardens) to taking responsibility at an industry level by better managing our agriculture, our built environment and the use of chemicals.

Here are Sheriff Construction, we’d like to encourage everyone to go the extra mile by installing green/ brown roofing wherever there’s an opportunity. Some examples of our own installations include roofing works at Park Royal, Walthamstow and Erith.

Walthamstow 31_May2016Regardless of whether its topping a block of flats or a garden shed, green, brown and biodiverse roofing is a great way of providing additional habitat for invertebrates.

It also helps to reduce pollution, reduce energy costs, improves the quality of life for building users and looks great! In some cases, this versatile type of roofing system can be used to create recreational space for people to enjoy alongside those bees, butterflies and insects!

It’s thought that, if bees were to disappear entirely, humans would have just four years left to live on Earth. Let’s recognise the important job these little creatures do for us and make sure that doesn’t happen.