Words by Smiley Team
What’s the buzz? It’s bidets for bee day for one plumbing company, after they decided to donate 100% of bidet profits to save the bees.
In an unusual charity pledge, bathroom retailer Victorian Plumbing have got involved with the appeal to save dwindling bee populations.
Someone at the Liverpool-based company may have noticed the potential for puns in ‘bidet’ or ‘bee-det’ and decided to run with it.
Earlier in May 2022 – over the period of a few weeks – the retailer donated the entirety of bidet sales to the Save the Bees appeal led by British Beekeepers’ Association.
“Bees significantly impact our environment and ecosystem; we have a duty of care to make sure we are protecting them wherever possible," says Joe Pascoe of Victorian Plumbing.
“Over the last five years, the sales of adult bidets have increased tenfold and range in price between £100 and £1900 so hopefully we can raise a nice amount for this cause.”
Victorian Plumbing even designed a miniature ‘bee-sized’ bidet complete with a walk-in shower and bathtub, to promote their campaign.
The amount of bees in the UK has significantly decreased since 1900 with several species going extinct.
Honeybee hives in England declined by 50% between 1985 and 2005, and 67% of common species have declined since the 1970s.
There has been a slight increase in some pollinators like the bumblebee, which Dr Gary Powney of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology said is "good news", but that "it would be risky to rely on this group to support the long-term food security for our country.”
"If anything happens to them in the future, there will be fewer other species to step up and fulfil the essential role of crop pollination," he adds.
Bees serve a vital purpose to human life and the environment, both pollinating the food we need to survive and pollinating many of the trees and flowers that provide habitats for wildlife.
The decline in population is thought to be because of changes in land use, which has led to habitat loss. Other issues affecting bees include disease, pesticides, pollution and climate change.
Individuals can help improve the bee population by planting flowers and plants that are rich in nectar, but widespread interventions and initiatives are needed to make a significant change in the population.
Victorian Plumbing hope that their donation of 100% bidet profits can help fund the vital research needed to support and grow the bee population around the UK.
“The British Beekeepers’ Association feels flushed with delight that Victorian Plumbing is supporting us from the sale of their bidets," says Clare McGettingan, who is a British Beekeepers Association Trustee.
“This donation will go towards our Save the Bees appeal, helping us learn more about the threats honeybees face in our environment.”
DISCOVER: Find out more about what you can do in your own garden or surrounding environment to support bees.
SUPPORT: You can support the British Beekeepers’ Association by visiting their website to make a donation.