Without the humble bee, our planet will wither and die

Cheryl was lucky enough to sit next to 1980s pop star Sinitta, pictured here at a previous event   Picture: PA

CHERYL GIBBS: An embarrassing moment at a celebrity shindig with Sinitta

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Since we’ve had all this hot weather, I’ve been thinking more and more about how to turn my boring square patio ‘garden’ into a haven of loveliness.

Sitting outside in the sunshine and watching the bees decide if my toe nail varnish is actually a tasty flower has been nice.

However, the joy of lazing around not doing anything more strenuous than lifting a glass of squash was tempered with guilt – and lots of it.

I’m not green-fingered. I can kill a plant at 20 paces, usually just by looking at it. Unless, of course, it’s a weed. They will always flourish in my garden.

Therefore, when I’ve been looking at pictures of other people’s gardens , or those created at the Chelsea Flower Show, I’ve been looking at the ones with different types of gravel, lots of wood, maybe a water feature, and grasses.

At no point have I flipped through a book about plants, looking at what I could have because I know, quite simply, it would be a waste of money.

But what about the bees? We all know that without the humble honey bee this planet of ours will wither and die.

I’m not being melodramatic. So important are bees to our ecosystem that without them to pollinate crops, we will not have enough food to survive.

Bees have been dying. Their numbers have halved since last year. Halved! And no-one really knows why.

Some say it’s because of a huge increase in pesticide use on crops. Let’s face it, such sprays are hardly nectar to bees, even if they’re not responsible for their deaths. But something needs to be done to try to halt this terrible plague that’s killing the bees.

I really can’t emphasise enough how important it is that they survive – they are the key to our very existence.

So what should we do? Each have a beehive in the garden? Not much help when I have no flowers for them to pollinate and any crops growing nearby might have pesticides on them.

I think the answer lies with the purveyors of such chemicals. If we can have dolphin-friendly tuna, can we have bee-friendly crop spray?

I guess I’d better invest in some rhododendrons too.