Bees’ Needs week runs from the 9th to the 17th July, you can search for #BeesNeeds on twitter to find out more about the campaign and tweet your pollinator questions to various charities, businesses and bee experts.
Did you know there are at least 1500 species of insect pollinators in the UK?
These are insects that help plants reproduce by carrying pollen from flower to flower as they feed. They include bumblebees, honey bees, solitary bees, hoverflies, wasps, flies, beetles, butterflies and moths.
They all have complex life cycles and specific needs. They all need pollen and nectar for food and a home for shelter. They are all vital for pollinating our gardens, wild plants as well as our crops.
Defra advice to families, gardeners, farmers, developers, land owners and local authorities is simple:
– grow more flowers, shrubs and trees
– let your garden grow wild
– cut grass less often
– don’t disturb insect nests and hibernation spots
– think carefully about whether to use pesticides
By following these 5 steps we can can all help give bees and pollinators the food and shelter they need to survive. In a recent YouGov poll, almost a quarter of English adults (24%) said their household had planted pollinator-friendly plants in gardens or window boxes to encourage pollination. A fifth had let areas of their garden grow wild to give bees enough nectar and pollen. This is great but that still leaves a huge percentage of households who have taken no action at all and therefore huge potential to have a massive impact on pollinators.
You can follow tips for bee friendly planting (find some here) and you can make sure your garden has some bee friendly habitat for solitary bees to nest in, like our range of concrete bee hotels and planters – find them here.
There are a number of events being held across the country for Bees’ Needs week, like the Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s Bumblebee Safari in Somerset; the first Chester Bee Summit at Chester Zoo; or join the Wildlife Trusts’ Butterfly Walk at Trench Wood in Worcestershire. Hundreds of pollinator-friendly events are taking place across the UK all week.
Pollinators in numbers
1500 species of insects pollinate plants in the UK, including bumble bees, honey bees, solitary bees, hoverflies, wasps, flies, beetles, butterflies and moths
25 species of bumble bee, 260 species of solitary bee, 1 honey bee species and hundreds of types of hoverflies, butterflies and moths live in the UK
70 of the 100 crop species that provide 90% of food worldwide are pollinated by bees
£600m is the estimated value of insect pollination to crops due to increases in yield and quality of seeds and fruit
6.5kg of ‘Whitehall Honey’ produced by the first yield from Defra’s beehives in 2015
5 simple actions the UK public can take to protect our vital pollinators: grow more flowers, shrubs and trees; leave patches of land to grow wild; cut grass less often; don’t disturb insect nests and hibernation spots; and think carefully about using pesticides.
To mark #beesneeds we’re offering 15% off all bee hotels on our website – just use code ‘beesneeds’ at checkout to apply your discount, until 17th July. Give solitary bees a safe and stylish nesting site.