In Britain, we have a maritime temperate climate which is one of the most varied weather systems in the world. British bees are best adapted to cope with our climate and the resultant vegetation. Local bees are better still.
Maritime temperate regions are found in areas near coasts where the sea and onshore winds provide more rain. This helps to keep the temperatures level throughout the year.
Typical characteristics of temperate regions include:
- having four seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter.
- unpredictability – whilst having recognised characteristics, most of the seasons will also have very varied weather within them. Rain, fog and lower temperatures may not be uncommon even in summer. Don’t we know it!
- believe it or not, temperate regions are the most popular climate to live in because we don’t experience the wide variations of some of the more extreme climates.
- the ability to grow a large variety of crops and fruit meaning agriculture is a major income earner in these regions. Grain crops such as wheat, barley and oats are extensively grown. Pears, apples, strawberries and other soft fruit are grown to sell either as fresh produce or for manufacturing into products such as jam.
- deciduous trees in most areas giving way to coniferous trees where the temperatures are lower for example in hilly or mountainous regions.
Britain’s summer temperatures are generally cooler than further into Europe. This is because the sea has a moderating effect keeping the land cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Our changeable weather makes accurate weather forecasting difficult to achieve. Rain often comes in the form of storms which develop in the North Atlantic and blow across Britain from west to east at all times of the year.
Even on our small island, the weather, and to some extent the climate, differs from north to south and east to west. Mountainous areas get a lot more rain than the lowlands and this has a large effect on what can be grown. Lowland areas tend to be warmer and more suitable for large-scale agriculture. British bees are adapted to make the best of the weather in their particular area and the crops and plants that grow there.