Bees · Extinction · Facts · Flowers · Population

“The London Pollinator Project”

Happened to be flicking through a magazine (Gardener’s World) in a waiting room when I came across this website: http://www.savelondonbees.co.uk. It is packed full of useful info so I thought I’d go through it.

 

Help pollinators in your green space:

  1. Use Native Plants
  2. Build a Bee Condo
  3. Mow your grass less often
  4. Don’t use pesticides
  5. Plant flowers in clumps
  6. Make a mini wildflower meadow
  7. Make a pond or a watering hole
  8. Create a deadwood pile

Plant bee-friendly flowers:

  1. Plant a variety throughout the year
  2. Plant singular flowers; most hybrid and double flowers are little use to bees
  3. Plant more purple flowers; bees have a natural preference to this colour
  4. Plant tubular shaped flowers (foxgloves, honeysuckle, penstemons, snapdragons). Easy acesss for bees
  5. Spring Examples: Bluebells, Bugles, Crab apple, daffodil, flowering cherry, forget-me-nots, hawthorn, rhododendrons, rosemary, viburnum
  6. Summer Examples: Aquilegia, Astible, Campanula, Comfrey, Delphinium, Sweet Pea, Fennel, Foxgloves, Geraniums, Snapdragons, Thyme
  7. Autumn Examples: Angelica, Asters, Buddleia, Cardoon, Cornflowers, Dahlias, Fuchsia, Globe Thistle, Heather, Lavender, Penstemon, Verbena.

Bee-friendly flower resources:

  1. http://www.rosybee.com
  2. http://www.beehappyplants.co.uk
  3. beekind.bumblebeeconservation.org
  4. http://www.lbka.org
  5. http://www.plantlife.org
  6. buzzaboutbees.net
  7. urbanbees.co.uk
  8. bbka.org.uk
  9. buglife.org.uk
  10. bumblebeeconservation.org

These simple practices will help pollinators dramatically:

  1. Let it grow: cut back less often and allow plants to flower. Let a section of your garden grow wild and do what it wants
  2. Do not disturb; Leave hibernating insects and nests alone and give them places to do so.
  3. Do not use, or try to use very little, pesticides: only use if absolutely necessary as they kill off bees

Why Bees matter:

  1. These pollinators are responsible for most of our food resources.
  2. It is estimated they contribute to over £400million per year to the UK economy and £14.2billion per year to the EU economy alone.
  3. Without them, hand pollination would be required, significantly increasing the costs of fruit and vegetables.
  4. There would also be a significant decrease in wild flowers and plants.

Why are bees in decline:

  1. Change in countryside; gone from colourful wildflowers to crops and livestock.
  2. The past abundance of wildflowers supported a greater diversity of wildlife
  3. Huge increases in human populations demand a huge increase in food productions, resulting in a huge loss in wild flowers. It is estimated that 97% of our flower rich grassland has been lost since the 1930s.
  4. Decline in flowers means dramatic decline in bees; 2 species of bumblebee in the UK have already become extinct and 2 others are endangered. The same goes for outside the UK.
  5. Further info on sos-bees.org, http://www.rhs.org.uk and TEDtalks on Bee Decline

This is all useful information that shows me what is already in place to help bees in London; I need to look around more websites to see what is being done elsewhere. I could also network with these charities and projects to see if a potential collaboration or something could happen. As mentioned before, I’d love to produce these books on behalf of someone.

SOURCES:
savelondonbees.co.uk

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