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: 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:


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, 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.


Bees · Flowers · Pollination

91 Flowers/herbs/etc that bees like

  1. Coneflowers
  2. Common Yarrow
  3. Sunflowers
  4. Giant Hyssops
  5. Horsemint
  6. Black-eyed Susan
  7. Asters
  8. Joe-pye Weed
  9. Goldenrods
  10. Dahlias
  11. Lavender
  12. Alliums
  13. Buddleia
  14. Catmint
  15. Foxgloves
  16. Honeysuckle
  17. Penstemons
  18. Snapdragons
  19. Bluebells
  20. Bugles
  21. Daffodils
  22. Flowering Cherry
  23. Forget-me-nots
  24. Hawthorn
  25. Pulmonaria
  26. Rhododendron
  27. Rosemary
  28. Viburnum
  29. Sweet peas
  30. Fennel
  31. Geraniums
  32. Potentilla
  33. Teasel
  34. Thyme
  35. Verbascum
  36. Cardoon
  37. Cornflower
  38. Fuchsia
  39. Thistles
  40. Heather
  41. Ivy
  42. Scabious
  43. Sedum
  44. Butterfly Weed (Asclepias Tuberosa)
  45. Lantana
  46. Bee Balm
  47. Borage
  48. Oregano
  49. Sweet Alyssum
  50. Alstroemeria
  51. Lion’s tail
  52. Penstemon
  53. Red Hot Poker
  54. Salvia
  55. Daisies
  56. Pussy Willow
  57. Apple/Crabapple trees
  58. Honeysuckle
  59. Strawberry tree
  60. Abelia
  61. Lungwort
  62. Comfrey
  63. Crocus
  64. Snowdrop
  65. Recurrant
  66. Chives
  67. Runner/Broad Bean
  68. Marjoram
  69. Kale
  70. Sage
  71. Raspberries
  72. Cosmos
  73. Calendulas
  74. Marigolds
  75. Primulas
  76. Rudbekia
  77. Hellebores
  78. Clematis
  79. Mint
  80. Hebe
  81. Echinacea
  82. Mignotette
  83. Thrift
  84. Sea Pink
  85. Sweet Williams
  86. Poppies
  87. Monarda
  88. Verbena Bonariensis
  89. Ageratum
  90. Echinops
  91. Digitalis


Sources used in this blog post:

Bees · Coexistence · Food Chain · Uncategorized

Bee Food Chain

What do bees eat?

  • Nectar
  • Pollen
  • Honey
  • Fruit
  • Sweet plant secretions
  • Aphids and other sweet secreting insects

What are bees eaten by?

  • Badgers
  • Skunks
  • Foxes
  • Weasels
  • Bears
  • Mice
  • Shrews
  • Hedgehogs
  • Crab Spiders
  • Robber Flies
  • Bee-eater Bird
  • Spotted Flycatcher bird
  • Shrike bird
  • Beewolves (wasp)

What is dependent on bees?


THIS IS WHY THEYRE SO IMPORTANT – how to convey this though??

Bees · Death · Extinction · Flowers · Food Chain

Trophic Cascade

I didn’t even realise this thing had a name.

Trophic cascades occur when predators in a food chain alter the number of prey available. For example, if there are a surge in the number of fish in a lake, there would be fewer smaller fish as more would be eaten, or vice versa. This would also have effect on the plankton available as it is not being eaten so will therefore be higher in numbers, taking effect on their prey and so on.

It is an ecological concept that is important in understanding the knock-on effects of removing certain predators or prey, which is what is usually a consequence of human activity (over fishing/pollution/etc).

top-down cascade is a trophic cascade where the food chain is disrupted by the removal of a top predator or a third/fourth level consumer.

bottom-up cascade occurs when a primary producer or primary consumer is removed and there is a reduction of population size through the community.

The theory was first introduced by Aldo Leopold. He first described the mechanism of a trophic cascade based on his observations of overgrazing of mountain slopes by deer after the human extermination of wolves. Nelson Hairston, Frederik Smith and Lawrence Slobokin are credited with introducing this concept into scientific discourse. Green world hypothesis argues that predators reduce the abundance of herbivores, allowing plants to flourish. This brings attention to the role of top-down forces (predation) and indirect effects in shaping ecological communities.


  1. In North American lakes, piscivorous fish can dramatically reduce populations of zooplanktivorous fish, zooplanktivorous fish can dramatically alter freshwater zooplankton communities, and zooplankton grazing can in turn have large impacts on phytoplankton communities. Removal of piscivorous fish can change lake water from clear to green by allowing phytoplankton to flourish.
  2. In Pacific kelp forests, sea otters feed on sea urchins. In areas where sea otters have been hunted to extinction, sea urchins increase in abundance and kelp populations are reduced.
  3. A classic example of a terrestrial tropic cascade* is the reintroduction of gray wolves (Canis lupus) to Yellowstone National Park, which reduced the number, and changed the behavior, of elk (Cervus elaphus). This in turn released several plant species from grazing pressure and subsequently led to the transformation of riparian ecosystems.

*Terrestrial trophic cascades were restricted to communities with relatively low species diversity, in which a small number of species could have an overwhelming influence and the food chain could operate as a linear food chain


Bee Food Chain

The one main thing in this food chain is the BEE – without them, flowers would die, meaning plants would die, meaning several species would die.

Their extinction would have a catastrophic effect on the ecosystem globally.


Bees · Thoughts

Local Bee experts and hives to visit

National History Museum, London. Wildlife Garden

Cumberland House, Portsmouth. Beehive

Portsmouth Beekeepers Association. Bee Convention, Trafalgar School, Hilsea. March 18th. £10 entry fee to be paid ASAP

Kew Gardens, London. The Hive. £13 entry cost

British Beekeepers Association

Natural History Museum BLOG