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The Great British Bee Count: 800,000 bees spotted so far



The Great British Bee Count has found yellow and black bumblebees to be the most common species volunteers have seen across the UK, all of which has reported through a smartphone app developed by Friends of the Earth, Buglife and B&Q.

The count will end on August 31 and is hoped it can help conservationists and scientists to assess the status of declining bees, due to parasites, climate change and especially harmful chemicals – as detailed research has proved, triggering a two-year ban on neonicotinoid insecticides in the EU.

With 8 days to go, more than 23,000 people around the UK have spotted 800,000 bees since June, with 239,861 sightings being bumblebees and 131,853 honeybees.

Friends of the Earth’s Senior Nature Campaigner Paul De Zylva said, “It’s wonderful to see so many people becoming bee-spotters this summer and learning more about these fascinating species using the Great British Bee Count app.

“If you’re on holiday, looking for something to do with the kids, or out and about this weekend, download the free app and see what bees you can spot – there are only 10 days left of this year’s survey.

“People around the country are doing their bit for bees – we hope the government will do its bit too by improving its upcoming National Pollinator Strategy so that it fully tackles all the threats bees face, especially from pesticide use and a lack of habitat on farms and new developments.”

The count was possible thanks to an app developed by Friends of the Earth, Buglife and B&Q –one retailer among the firsts to take of its shelves harmful chemicals.

Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at B&Q, Matthew Sexton, added, “We know how vital bees are to keeping our gardens and countryside healthy and there’s lots gardeners can do, with our help, to support hungry bees, such as growing bee-friendly plants and starting a bee café.”

Photo: echiner1 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