Thursday 29th September 2016                 Change text size:

Great British Bee Count: allotments better than parks for bees



bee on flower by xoque via Flickr

Findings of the Great British Bee Count revealed that allotments, more than gardens, school grounds and parks provide the best habitat for declining bees, honey bees and bumblebees.

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The initiative organised by Friends of the Earth, Buglife and B&Q aims to involve the public in monitoring pollinators to help conservationists.

From June to August, more than 23,000 people spotted 832,000 bees. After reviewing findings, the organisers revealed that allotments hosted the highest number of bees per count, while parks and roadsides, the lowest.

Bumblebee expert Professor Dave Goulson said, “This year’s Great British Bee Count highlights the importance of allotments in providing essential habitat for the bees that pollinate all those tasty home-grown fruit and veg – and shows that parks and road verges could be a lot better for bees, with less mowing and more wildflowers.”

It is hoped that by monitoring the pollinators population, scientists could help tackle the worrying decline of bees, which has been linked to the excessive use of neonicotinoid pesticides, now banned in the EU until December 2015.

Campaigners have urged the British government to do more to protect bees, especially because they are under particular threat in the UK.

Friends of the Earth’s senior nature campaigner, Paul De Zylva said, “It’s great that so many people are making allotments and gardens bee-friendly by growing the right kind of plants, but we need to ensure rural areas and towns are also habitat-rich so bees can move freely.  

“The government must improve its National Pollinator Strategy to tackle all the threats bees face, especially from pesticides and a lack of habitat on farms and new developments.”

Photo: xoque via Flickr

Further reading:

Great British Bee Count: scientists ask public to help ‘save bees’ with smartphone app

MPs criticise pollinator research funded by pesticide manufacturers

Big Butterfly Count gets started to monitor British butterflies

Not enough honeybees in the UK to keep up with crop pollination

Loss of $200bn pollinating services will be harmful, scientists warn


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