Plant pollinators campaign launched ahead of bee count

TV presenter Michaela Strachan is joining with Friends of the Earth to urge people across the UK to create bee-friendly gardens and other habitats this spring, to help bees and other threatened pollinators.

The call for the creation of bee-friendly habitats, is also backed by one of Britain’s leading bee experts, Professor Dave Goulson.

The pair are also asking people to take part in the Great British Bee Count (19 May-30 June). Using a free smartphone app people can record the bees they spot in their gardens, parks and countryside and help gather information on our precious pollinators.

The Great British Bee Count is organised by Friends of the Earth, with support from Buglife, and sponsorship from Waitrose.

Strachan said: "Bees are great for gardens so choose bee-friendly plants and see how many bees you can attract.

"You can also take part in the Great British Bee Count. It's fun, free and will really help you to learn more about our precious bees.

"We have 260 species in Britain and the free app will help you to see just how many bees you can spot."

Goulson said: "Britain’s bees are facing multiple threats, from loss of flower meadows and quiet places to nest, and from the many pesticides used in most modern farming.

"The good news is that we can all play a part in helping them. Making our gardens and allotments more friendly to bees is easy to do – and can help make a real difference.

"If you don’t have a garden you can ask your school, housing association or council to create bee friendly spaces.

"Imagine if every garden, park and school grounds had bee-friendly flowers, and we grew wildflowers on our roundabouts and road verges; our towns and cities could become huge nature reserves for pollinators.

"Bees are fascinating and beautiful insects. Joining the Great British Bee Count is a fun way to find out more about them."

The campaign recommends purple flowers like lavender and borage, and tubular-shaped flowers like lupins and foxgloves. It adds that dandelions and clover should be left on lawns. Window box herbs and flowering fruits are recommended too.

More 100,000 bees were recorded in last year’s Great British Bee Count. The results found that:  

  • Gardens provided the greatest variety of bees, with almost a quarter of people (22.43 per cent) recording four or more different kinds of bees per count in these habitats. They were followed by allotments (17.6 per cent), farmland (10.24 per cent) and the countryside (9.74 per cent).
  • School grounds were the habitat where most bees per sighting were recorded, with on average almost 11 bees (10.7) recorded. Woodlands (8.59) were next most numerous habitat.

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